Makau Faces Formidable Rivals in Frankfurt: Tsegay, Matebor, Worku and Kirwa

Press Release
September 4, 2012

The BMW Frankfurt Marathon looks set to continue its rise that should ultimately establish the event among the world’s major marathons. A couple of weeks after announcing the spectacular signing of world record holder Patrick Makau organisers have now released four names that will form formidable opposition for the Kenyan superstar: Yemane Tsegay, Albert Matebor, Bazu Worku and Gilbert Kirwa will face Patrick Makau on 28th October. The BMW Frankfurt Marathon is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.

“I have seen the course today and it looks very good. If everything is perfect on race day – my form, the weather and the pacemaking – then a world record might be possible,” said Patrick Makau during a press conference in Frankfurt today. A year ago he had broken the world record clocking 2:03:38 in Berlin. On that occasion the Kenyan also beat the previous record holder Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia). After being surprisingly omitted from Olympic selection Patrick Makau will now be eager to prove something with a very good race. “So far my training went very well. I had no problems or injuries and the form is similar to last year. But of course a lot of training and especially speedwork is still to come in the weeks ahead,” said the 27 year-old who will be running against a group of very strong athletes. Four of them have now been confirmed for Frankfurt.

Yemane Tsegay’s personal best is just 70 seconds slower than that of the world record holder. The 27 year-old Ethiopian is likely to follow any pace in Frankfurt. Tsegay, who had been fourth in the World Championship’s marathon in Berlin in 2009, has improved his personal best twice this year. First he ran 2:06:29 at the Dubai Marathon in January, then he made a major step when taking the Rotterdam Marathon in 2:04:48 in April. Tsegay crossed the line just one second ahead of fellow-Ethiopian Getu Feleke and by coincidence clocked exactly the same time as Patrick Makau, when he had won the Rotterdam Marathon two years earlier.

Albert Matebor (Kenya) and Bazu Worku (Ethiopia) both feature identical personal bests of 2:05:25. Matebor had shown a great race in Frankfurt in 2011, when he finished third with this personal best. It will be already his third race in the German financial capital. In 2007 he had been fifth with 2:09:33. For Bazu Worku it will be his first BMW Frankfurt Marathon. The former marathon world junior record holder (2:06:15 in Paris in 2009) ran his personal best in Berlin two years ago. Finishing in a strong third place in driving rain behind Patrick Makau and fellow Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai he clocked a great 2:05:25.

Besides Albert Matebor there is another world-class runner from Kenya returning: Gilbert Kirwa had won the BMW Frankfurt Marathon in 2009 with 2:06:14, which at that time was a course record. This still is his personal best. After prolonged injury problems Gilbert Kirwa this year came back with a fourth place in the Vienna City Marathon in April (2:08:09). He will now hope to be back at his best in Frankfurt.

Regarding the very top of the men’s elite race this field will be the best in the history of Germany’s oldest city marathon, which will see its 31st edition. “It is a very strong field. But I am generally not looking at any particular rivals. I always respect all the other runners in a competition,” said Patrick Makau.

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