12 OCT 2012 General News Birmingham, UK

Tadese joins field for Birmingham Half

World Road Running title No. 5 for Zersenay Tadese (Getty Images)World Road Running title No. 5 for Zersenay Tadese (Getty Images) © Copyright
Zersenay Tadesewinner of a fifth World Half Marathon World Championship title last weekend -will take part in the Bupa Great Birmingham Run, and IAAF Bronze Label Road Race, on 21 October.

The 30-year-old Eritrean World record holder over the 13.1 mile distance, confirmed he will return to the Midland's capital, where he claimed his fourth global gold medal success three years ago.

Tadese is an athlete who excels whatever the terrain; he won his country's first ever Olympic medal at the 2004 Olympic Games, coming third in the 10,000m race. Three years later he clinched the World Cross Country crown, defeating Ethiopia's legendary Kenenisa Bekele.

Despite these successes, his awesome reputation as a road runner is firmly established. In addition to his string of World championship victories, he also set the World record at the 2010 Lisbon Half Marathon in a time of 58 minutes 23 seconds.

Now he’s aiming to succeed Haile Gebrselassie, the world ’s greatest ever distance runner, as the Bupa Great Birmingham Run champion. His return to the city is eagerly awaited, after his last visit where he won the World Half Marathon championships in 2009 with a time of 59:35.

Peter Riley, elite athlete manager for the event, said, "We’re really excited to bring the current Half Marathon world record holder back to the city where he became World champion in 2009."

"He's obviously in great shape after lifting his latest World Half Marathon title in Bulgaria. He'll have a fortnight's rest under his belt before arriving in Birmingham, so I'm sure he'll be determined to produce another high profile victory on UK soil and break the current course record."

Tadese cannot afford to rest on his laurels as the Kenyan pair, Micah Kogo and Eliud Kipchoge, also sub one-hour performers, are in the line-up and equally determined to follow in Gebrselassie's footsteps.

"It promises to be a belter of a race as all three men are natural front runners," added Riley. "The weather is always a major player in achieving fast times but whatever we get on the day, it won’t detract from a very high quality competition."

Organisers for the IAAF