LISBON, Portugal, Feb 5- Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong, world marathon champion Mare Dibaba and Olympic 5000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot will line up against each other at the IAAF Gold Label Road Race on March 19.
Sumgong, who finished second in Lisbon in 2014, will return to the Portuguese capital with the aim of improving her personal best of 1:06:58, set two months before her victory at the 2016 London Marathon.
She will be up against fellow Kenyan Cheruiyot, who won last year’s Great South Run in 1:07:54 on her half marathon debut, just one month after taking 5000m gold and 10,000m silver at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Dibaba, who has a half-marathon PB of 1:07:13, will also be in the field.
The fastest in the women’s race, though, is Ethiopia’s Genet Yalew. She set a PB of 1:06:26 last year and went on to finish fifth at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.
Others in the field include defending champion Ruti Aga, world half-marathon bronze medallist Mary Wacera, world cross-country bronze medallist Netsanet Gudeta, Olympic 5000m finalist Ababel Yeshaneh, 2012 European 10,000m champion Ana Dulce Felix and European half marathon bronze medallist Jessica Augusto.
The men’s field doesn’t contain any global champions, but it boasts three men with sub-60-minute PBs.
James Mwangi is perhaps the most exciting prospect.
The Kenyan made his half-marathon debut last year with a 59:12 victory in Milan. He followed it by winning a high-quality race in Copenhagen, improving his lifetime best to 59:07.
Eritrea’s 2014 African 10,000m champion Nguse Amlosom has twice won the Lisbon Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon, but this will be his first appearance at the ‘other’ half marathon in the Portuguese capital.
Simon Cheprot set his PB of 59:20 back in 2013 and finished sixth at last year’s IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.
Others in the men’s field include Kenya’s Emmanuel Kipsang, Eritrea’s Yohanes Ghebregergish and Zimbabwe’s Cuthbert Nyasango. 2014 African cross-country champion Leonard Barsoton and 2014 world U20 10,000m bronze medallist Nicholas Kosimbei will both be making their half-marathon debut.
James Mwangi (KEN) 59:07
Simon Cheprot (KEN) 59:20
Nguse Amlosom (ERI) 59:39
Emmanuel Kipsang (KEN) 1:00:14
Yohanes Ghebregergish (ERI) 1:00:21
Cuthbert Nyasango (ZIM) 1:00:26
Edwin Kibet Koech (KEN) 1:00:47
Daniel Rotich (UGA) 1:00:59
Leonard Barsoton (KEN) debut
Nicholas Kosimbei (KEN) debut
Jemima Sumgong (KEN) 1:06:58
Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN) 1:07:54
Mare Dibaba (ETH) 1:07:13
Netsanet Gudeta (ETH) 1:07:31
Ababel Yeshaneh (ETH) 1:07:52
Genet Yalew (ETH) 1:06:26
Mary Wacera (KEN) 1:06:29
Eunice Chumba (BRN) 1:08:04
Ruti Aga (ETH) 1:08:07
Afera Godfay (ETH) 1:08:32
Purity Changwony (KEN) 1:10:34
Pauline Korikwiang (KEN) 1:12:03