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Jeptoo, Melkamu face-off in Amsterdam

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Kenyan distance runner Priscah Jeptoo (Getty Images) © Copyright
Kenyan distance runner Priscah Jeptoo (Getty Images) © Copyright

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Sep 29 – Priscah Jeptoo and Meselech Melkamu will square off at the TCS Amsterdam Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on 16 October, organisers have announced.

With high profile victories at some of the world’s leading marathons to her name, Jeptoo will take on the favourite’s role.

The Kenyan won the 2011 Paris Marathon and two years later took top honours at the London and New York City Marathons.

Her trophy cabinet also holds an Olympic silver medal from the 2012 Games in London where she finished five seconds behind winner Tiki Gelana.

After that period of success, Jeptoo struggled with injuries, having broken her leg during the 2014 London marathon.

The years that followed have been difficult for the 32-year-old who hasn’t again managed to threaten her personal best of 2:20:14 set at the 2012 London Marathon where she finished third.

“I have been training hard and I am feeling really fit,” Jeptoo said. “I am really looking forward to Amsterdam and will be delighted if I can run it in 2:22.”

Ethiopian distance runner Meselech Melkamu (Getty Images) © Copyright
Ethiopian distance runner Meselech Melkamu (Getty Images) © Copyright

Melkamu has had an equally impressive career on the roads, the track on in cross country. In cross, the Ethiopian won five bronze medals at IAAF World Cross Country Championships and on the track set an African record of 29:53.83 in the 10,000m, two months before winning a silver medal in the event at the world championships.

In 2012, she shifted her focus to the marathon. She made an impressive debut, winning the Frankfurt Marathon in 2:21:01, still the career best for the 31-year-old.

She’s come close to that mark twice already this year, first with a 2:22:29 run in Dubai in January where she finished third, and again in April when she won the Hamburg Marathon in 2:21:54.

Ethiopian Abebech Afework, who clocked 2:23:33 in Dubai last year and Kenyan Lucy Karimi, who won the Prague Marathon in May in 2:24:46, will also be in the field.

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