Ethiopia's Lelisa Desisa wins 2013 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon (Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon) © Copyright
General News Dubai, UAE

2013 champion Lelisa Desisa returns to Dubai Marathon

Ethiopia’s 2013 IAAF World Championships marathon silver medallist Lelisa Desisa will return the Dubai Marathon on 23 January, the organisers of the IAAF Gold Label Road Race announced on Friday (9).

Desisa caused a sensation in the running world in Dubai two years ago.

Not only did he smash the sub-2:05 barrier on his marathon debut when winning in 2:04:45, he also led five men across the finish line under that time, an unprecedented achievement in marathon history.

His time was just 22 seconds outside the Dubai course record set a year earlier by his compatriot winner Ayele Abshero and, after being absent in 2014, Desisa will return to the race with plenty of big race experience after building on his Dubai success in 2013.

He maintained a busy and successful schedule for the rest of 2013, winning the Boston Marathon three months after his Dubai triumph before taking the silver medal in Moscow.

Desisa's rise was slightly checked when he failed to finish in Boston last year, but he redeemed himself with second place at the New York Marathon in November.

"To have another former champion in the line-up is a great boost for the race and we will be delighted to see Lelisa Desisa back to try and regain his crown," said Event Director Peter Connerton.

"He will only be 25-years-old when he runs here again and has already shown he is one of the world's best after just two years of marathon competition. He'll certainly be one of the favourites and will be determined not to let Kenenisa (Bekele) steal all the headlines," added Connerton.

Organisers for the IAAF