April 13, 2016
Philipp Sanga is the fastest runner on the start list of the METRO GROUP Marathon Duesseldorf on 24th April. He features a personal best of 2:06:07. A number of fellow Kenyans plus defending champion Marius Ionescu of Romania are among the men’s elite runners. This was announced by the organisers today. Late entry for the METRO GROUP Marathon Duesseldorf, where the finish is besides the river Rhine, is still possible at: www.metrogroup-marathon.de
Five days ago Philipp Sanga seemed to have lost his chance to run a spring marathon. Scheduled to compete in Hannover last Sunday there was a mistake in the visa so that the 32 year-old was unable to fly out of Nairobi. However his agony ended today when the organizers of the METRO GROUP Marathon Duesseldorf offered him another opportunity in Germany just two weeks later. With his personal best of 2:06:07 Sanga is the fastest runner in the elite field. He ran this time when he was fourth in Frankfurt back in 2011. A marathon specialist the Kenyan has already run sub 2:09 eight times. The last time he achieved such a result was in Vienna two years ago where he was third in 2:08:58. Another fine performance came in Boston in 2011, where he took seventh in 2:07:10. While he was runner-up on a couple of occasions so far Philipp Sanga has never won a marathon. He will look to add a first victory in Duesseldorf next week.
Among his rivals are fellow-Kenyans Cosmas Kigen and Mathew Bowen. Kigen has a personal record of 2:09:43 from Cologne in 2011 while Bowen ran 2:10:57 in Rennes three years ago. More recently he was sixth in Toronto last autumn in 2:11:28. Defending champion Marius Ionescu will also return to Duesseldorf. The 31 year-old ran a personal best of 2:13:19 a year ago. However this time it will be much more difficult for him to win again since the field is much stronger than a year ago. For financial reasons organizers had a very limited elite field in 2015 and no African top runners were invited.
“We are happy that this year our event has a stronger elite field again so that we can position the METRO GROUP Marathon Duesseldorf much better among the international significant marathons,” said Race Director Jan Winschermann.
Three German runners will try to use the final opportunity to snatch a place on the German Olympic team. As things stand at the moment Falk Cierpinski (PB: 2:13:30), Manuel Stöckert, who ran a marathon pacing the women, and debutant Hendrik Pfeiffer need to run sub 2:13:57 in Duesseldorf to have a chance for a ticket. At the moment Arne Gabius (2:08:33), Philipp Pflieger (2:12:50) and Julian Flügel (2:13:57) are the ones on the plane to Rio.