Preview Turin, Italy

Straneo vs Kibet puts the spotlight on the women’s race in Turin

Big win for Valeria Straneo at the 2012 Stramilano (Giancarlo Colombo)Big win for Valeria Straneo at the 2012 Stramilano (Giancarlo Colombo) © Copyright

Turin, Italy - Italian Marathon record holder Valeria Straneo and Dutchwoman Hilda Kibet will headline a high-quality women’s race at the 26th edition of the Turin Marathon Gran Premio La Stampa, an IAAF Gold Label Race, scheduled for this Sunday 18 November.

Straneo and Kibet had originally planned to run the New York City Marathon on 4 November but they had to change their competitive plan after the race was cancelled due to the devastating damage caused by the Hurricane Sandy.

Thirty-six year-old Straneo has enjoyed a breakthrough season in which she ran 1:07:46 at the Roma-Ostia Half Marathon and broke the Italian Marathon record last April in Rotterdam with 2:23:44 and then went on to finish eighth at the Olympic Games in London. Following surgery in May 2010 to remove her spleen after having been diagnosed with hereditary spherocytosis, a disorder of red blood cells, Straneo made a remarkable rise to international level in 2011. Straneo, mother of two children and a graduate in Modern Languages came to the fore for the first time when she smashed her lifetime best to 2:26:33 in Berlin in September 2011. Straneo will return to Turin where she ran the first marathon in her career in 2000. 

Hilda Kibet, a sister of former World Half Marathon champion Lornah Kiplagat and sister of double 5000m World silver medallist Sylvia Kibet, clocked her marathon career best in Rotterdam in 2011 when she finished second with 2:24:27. Hilda Kibet won the European Cross Country title in 2008 and finishing in the top-ten in three editions of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships (fifth in 2008, sixth in 2009 and tenth in 2010).

The other top names in Turin are Ethiopian Derbe Gordana Gobesa (PB 2:28:52), former Italian 3000m Steeplechase record holder Emma Quaglia (PB 2:31:15 set last April in Milan) and Kenyan Iness Chenonge who will make her debut over the marathon distance after a solid career on the track with a sixth place in the 5000 metres at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin.

The men’s race features two-sub 2:08 runners: Daniel Rono (PB 2:06:58 set in Rotterdam in 2008) and Nicholas Kipruto Koech (PB 2:07:23 set in Prague 2010).  Two other top names in the field are Jackson Kiprono Kirwa (PB 2:10:35 set in Lens in 2010) and Ukraine’s Oleksiy Sitkovskyy (PB 2:09:26), who finished 12th at the Olympic Games in London 2012 and took runner-up place in Turin in 2008. Kenyan Patrick Kipyegon Kerer, World Junior bronze medallist in the 3000m Steeplechase in 2008 and Ethiopian Seboka Niguse Erre (half marathon PB 1:02:58) will make their debut in the marathon.

The 2012 Turin Marathon will be run on a new course. The race sets off from Piazza San Carlo in the heart of the Piedmont city and runs across the neighbouring towns of Moncalieri, Nichelino, Grugliasco and Collegno before returning to Turin where runners will cross the finish-line in Piazza Castello. 

The official programme also features the Stratorino, the popular Junior Marathon for children up to the age of 13, which starts from Piazza San Carlo. The course of the Junior Marathon is the last kilometre of the Turin Marathon from Piazza Carlo Felice to Piazza Castello.

Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF