Posts tagged with "athletes"

Soloman Deksisa, Worknesh Degefa,Ethiopian, Dubai Marathon, sports, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, Dubai, marathon, runners, athletes

Dubai Marathon

Ethiopian duo Soloman Deksisa and Worknesh Degefa will spearhead a strong elite field featuring major city marathon winners and athletes with more than 35 international victories between them when the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is staged on Friday (January 24).
 
Deksisa and Degefa boast the best Personal Bests in the men and women’s fields respectively and will be among the big favourites when the elite side of the IAAF Gold Label event race gets underway at 6am.
 
For Deksisa – who set his PB of 2:04:40 when finishing third in Amsterdam in 2018 – it’s a debut appearance on the flat and fast roads of Dubai and the 25-year-old will be looking to add to the back-to-back city marathon wins he enjoyed in Hamburg and Mumbai in 2018.
 
Another Dubai debutant is Kenya’s Eric Kiptanui whose personal best of 58:42 makes him the fastest half marathon runner ever entered into the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon and the 29-year-old can maintain Dubai’s reputation as being a perfect course for debutants.
 
It was only a year ago when Ethiopia’s Getaneh Molla won the race on his debut in a course record time of 2:03:34 – and Kiptanui has the explosive potential to continue this tradition and possibly end Ethiopia’s eight-year dominance of the men’s race.
 
But while Deksisa and Kiptanui are Dubai “new boys”, for Worknesh Degefa it’s a welcome return to one of her favourite hunting grounds. The diminutive 29-year-old holds the distinction of being the fastest Ethiopian female marathon runner of all time thanks to a stunning personal best of 2:17:41 – the fifth fastest marathon time ever run by a woman – set in Dubai just twelve months ago.
 
As well as that personal best when finishing second last year, Degefa won in Dubai in 2017 and finished 4th in 2018. A superb victory at the Boston Marathon back in April 2019 shows she remains a serious world talent and will start as a hot favourite this weekend.
 
As always, however, she will have her challengers, most notably former Boston Marathon winner Bizunesh Deba (2:19:59) and the up-and-coming Bedatu Hirpa, who won the 2017 Athens Marathon at the age of just 18.
 
Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon has again brought together a field of elites with marathon victories to their names in cities such as Rome, Athens, Milan, Shanghai and Lisbon.
 
“We are pleased to be the title sponsor of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon for the 16th consecutive year,” said Rola Abu Manneh, CEO for Standard Chartered Bank, UAE. “This flagship event, now in its 21st year, has become one of the region’s most anticipated social and sporting platforms bringing together thousands of people from all over the world. For the few hours of the marathon, all participants are united on one single path – to the finish line.

“As well as the elite runners, the event will also attract athletes and participants who want to challenge themselves; some who want to be fitter and healthier; some who want to raise money for charity; and some who just want a fun day out with their friends and family. And just like every year, we will have over 600 people from Standard Chartered who will be volunteering or running at the event.”
 
While the elite fields will take to the roads at 6am on Friday with the masses off an hour later at 7am, the honour of getting the day’s action underway falls to a stellar international field of wheelchair athletes.
Among those starting a battle royale at 5.55am will be the defending champions Marcel Hug and Sandra Graf of Switzerland
 
“Last year we witnessed two new course records and some fantastic Marathon times,” said Event Director Peter Connerton. “This week, the course is the same for the 21st running of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon so we are looking forward to yet another high-quality race from a talented group of elite athletes.
 
“Our thanks go out to our sponsors as well as the Dubai Sports Council and all the Government bodies who come together to provide the framework for this event. Without their assistance and invaluable support, a race of this scale on the streets of the city would not be possible.”
 
Runners looking to take part in the Marathon, the 10km Road Race (8.15am) or the 4km Fun Run (11am) can register online until Thursday (Jan 23) either at dubaimarathon.org or at Run Number collection at Jumeirah Beach Hotel Conference Centre. UAE Nationals in particular are encouraged to take part in the event thanks to the ‘#My City_My Race’ campaign, launched by Dubai Holding.
 
Khalid Al Malik, Managing Director of Dubai Holding said: “We introduced the UAE National Winners Category for the Dubai Marathon as part of our ongoing commitment to community wellness and fostering Emirati pride. We are delighted to see that the number of Emirati participants has grown by 325% with more than ever before set to take part in the 2020 edition of the city’s signature fitness event.  I am also pleased to say that more Emirati women are participating in the Marathon. Last year, we saw almost 200 Emirati women running across the different race categories, which is 21% more than in 2018.“
 
He added: “This year, with our ‘#MyCity_MyRace’ campaign, we have put even more emphasis behind actively encouraging UAE Nationals of all fitness levels to take part in the 10km, 42km and Wheel Chair categories with early figures showing that 30% more will participate versus last year. We look forward to seeing record numbers of Emirati’s on the start line on Friday and hope that one day, the winner of the full marathon will be a UAE National.”
 
In addition to Standard Chartered as title sponsor, the Dubai Marathon is supported by the Dubai Sports Council, adidas, Dubai Holding, Masafi, Channel 4 Radio Network, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Police and the RTA. Live TV streaming of the race will be available at http://bit.ly/DubaiMarathon2020.

Houston Astros – Apology

Nonpologies and Missed Opportunities: The Damaging Responses to a Crisis

By Sean O’Meara

When Houston Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman put the final period on the final sentence of his apology statement for remarks he made toward three sports journalists in October 2019, he probably thought he’d done a good job.

Taubman probably read the statement back to himself and checked off in his head all the points he wanted to make; including what a great guy Brandon Taubman is (“Those that know me know that I am a progressive and charitable member of the community, and a loving and committed husband and father”) and how the Sports Illustrated report about his behaviour doesn’t reflect that (“the Sports Illustrated article does not reflect who I am or my values”.

Now that the dust has settled on the Houston Astros Brandon Taubman controversy, we’re able to reflect on what team leadership could have done better.

Astros management had already tried to deny the accusations on behalf of Taubman and did what a lot of organizations under fire do; they attempted to muddy the waters with a half-baked public statement, accusing the reporters of ‘fabrication’ in the process. And Taubman’s subsequent ‘apology’ was only necessary because other journalists had corroborated the allegations against him.

That Taubman or indeed the Astros put out a statement with such audacious levels of equivocation is a very bad reflection on their crisis planning. The fact that Taubman ended up getting fired and the Astros ended up apologising for how they handled the scandal, is a bad reflection on the organization’s leadership.

Here’s Taubman’s apology in full.

“This past Saturday, during our clubhouse celebration, I used inappropriate language for which I am deeply sorry and embarrassed. In retrospect, I realized that my comments were unprofessional and inappropriate,”

“My overexuberance in support of a player has been misinterpreted as a demonstration of a regressive attitude about an important social issue. Those that know me know that I am a progressive and charitable member of the community, and a loving and committed husband and father. I hope that those who do not know me understand that the Sports Illustrated article does not reflect who I am or my values. I am sorry if anyone was offended by my actions.”

Taubman’s nonpology did more damage than not saying anything would have done. There’s equivocating, weasly, nonpologies, and there’s whatever this is. Taubman actually manages to weaponise the language of contrition in attack against the journalists, while simultaneously giving himself a glowing character reference; “I am a progressive and charitable member of the community, and a loving and committed husband and father.”

It was no real surprise that it didn’t wash. By apologizing in this manner, Taubman effectively questioned the integrity of the journalists who reported his remarks. Any communications advisor would caution against that course of action. It’s dangerous for a number of reasons, not least because it adds an extra layer of complexity to the situation and provides another thing to apologize for when you’re found out to be wrong. But then, this is exactly what Astros did as an organization when they implied that the journalists were mischief-making with their accusations.

The Astros were the next to find themselves apologizing. But not before they’d fired Taubman. Owner Jim Crane wrote a personal letter to Stephanie Apstein copping to a momentous lapse of judgement.

“On behalf of the entire Astros organization, I want to personally apologize for the statement we issued on Monday October 21st.

“We were wrong and I am sorry that we initially questioned your professionalism. We retract that statement, and I assure you that the Houston Astros will learn from this experience.”

The really frustrating thing here is that the above is an example of a good apology. In The Apology Impulse, a book I co-authored with renowned psychologist Professor Sir Cary Cooper, we examined what makes a good apology and what makes a bad one.

There were abundant examples of the latter of scant examples of the former. Had this apology, with its frank concession of fault, assurances that they will do better and the notable lack of equivocation, been given as we were writing the book, and had it not been given as the humiliating culmination of evasive accountability avoiding behaviour and victim smearing, it would have been a case study for how to say sorry. In other words, had the Astros’ first apology been this frank and direct, they wouldn’t have needed to make multiples, and Taubman may still have had his job.

The Taubman affair is best characterised as a litany of missed opportunities. Taubman had the opportunity to apologize properly for his outburst. He missed it. The Astros had the opportunity to apologize on his behalf. They had the opportunity to retain his services had they managed to contain the fall-out from his original remarks. The only opportunities he grasped with both hands were the opportunities to sack Taubman and the opportunity to withdraw their accusations against the journalists. Neither reflect particularly well on the organization.

Sean O’Meara, co-author of The Apology Impulse: How the Business World Ruined Sorry and Why We Can’t Stop Saying It, is the founder and director of Essential Content, a communications and public relations consultancy. With more than 15 years of professional experience in corporate communications, O’Meara has worked with organizations including the BBC, Convergys (now Concentrix), and Co-op Bank.

Sixers, Alex Subers, Josh Richardson, Reebok, Philadelphia, 360 MAGAZINE ,76ers

Josh Richardson × REEBOK

Josh Richardson of the Philadelphia 76ers was spotted arriving to tonight’s opening game against the Celtics, where he wore the Reebok Question Mid Double Cross in the tunnel.

The Reebok Question Mid Double Cross ($150) is available now worldwide on Reebok.com and across the Foot Locker family of brands, including: Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Footaction, Champs Sports and Eastbay.com.
 
Celebrating the release of the new Question Mid Double Cross sneaker, Reebok announced ‘Crossover U’ earlier this month, an all-day workshop series led by five contemporary creatives who draw inspiration from Allen Iverson’s impact on and off the court. Each workshop will explore Iverson’s influence on culture, style and creativity via experiential education. The ‘Crossover U’ workshops will take place this Friday, October 25 in New York City.

*Photo credit: @Sixers and Alex Subers

new era, 360 MAGAZINE, green bay packers, NFL, sports

New Era 2019 NFL Apparel Collection

New Era Cap, the official on-field cap of the National Football League, has launched the New Era 2019 NFL Apparel Collection. Featuring clean silhouettes and elevated fabrics, you can now rep your team in sophisticated style through the brand’s newest apparel offering.
 
Made of premium materials such as French Terry Cotton and Ponte De Roma, the collection is both functional and fashionable with its ability to keep you warm at the stadium or fresh for a night out.

The NFL Apparel Collection is available for a variety of NFL teams with styles designed for both for men and women, including fleeces, hoodies, T-shirts, Henleys, raglans and even full-zip jackets. The colors are classic and contemporary, available in a palate of black, navy or gray — perfect for football season.
  
The New Era 2019 Fall NFL Apparel Collection is now available on neweracap.com
 and select team retailers for a retail price range of $52 – $232 USD.

Jose Mourinho,360 MAGAZINE

Jose Mourinho Discusses Video Assistant Referring

World renowned football manager Jose Mourinho, and recently retired footballer Samuel Eto’o took to the LaLiga Headquarters in Madrid to discuss speed & innovation in football, including the hot topic of Video Assistant Referring [VAR]. 

The duo spoke at an exclusive event, as they helped launch the global partnership between LiveScore and LaLiga. The collaboration will see LiveScore support the Spanish league’s new Replay360º feature, an Intel-powered technology, that will allow La Liga audiences to access 38 individual camera positions across Spanish stadiums, delivering football’s most immersive coverage. 

The duo were also joined on the panel by LaLiga President, Javier Tebas, who explained how the partnership is further evidence of the league’s drive to introduce the right technologies to improve fans’ matchday experience both inside the stadium and at home, LiveScore Ambassador, Jose Mourinho, commented: 

“It is important football continues to innovate and embrace technologies that can develop the game for clubs and leagues but, and I say this after my first summer as a fan, that the emotion remains in football. LiveScore’s partnership with LaLiga most definitely puts the fan first.”


The discussion comes at an exciting moment for technology in football as the Premier League becomes the latest competition to introduce Video Assistant Refereeing (VAR), after its introduction to LaLiga in the 2018/19 season. Mourinho believes that this is a positive move for the sport.

“Of course, as a manager sometimes you receive a favorable decision and sometimes a disastrous one. I like the essence of VAR to reduce human error and we will all learn it and adapt to it, but I hope we will still maintain the raw excitement. Before, when a goal went in, I used to look at the referee, now I look at the screen!” 

With its core pillars of speed, simplicity and reliability, LiveScore has been at the forefront of the drive to use technology to enhance the experience of fans across multiple sports, and football in particular.

Watch discussion here.

Morse Asturias, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

5 Best Sports Activities for Students

With the lure of electronic activities like playing computer games and surfing the net that don’t require physical exercise, students may miss out on an opportunity to socialize, keep healthy and boost their brainpower. 

Sports activities will relieve your stress, help you to sleep better, control your weight, improve your mood and give you more energy. Universities and colleges usually have many traditional sports teams, but there are many other sports activities on campus that cater to all types of individuals and levels of expertise, from complete novices to the very sporty.

Here are various sports for students, some more conventional and others a little more unusual. 

Traditional sports

The most popular sports for students are usually traditional ones like football, basketball, volleyball and softball. Students who begin playing these sports in high school often continue in college. The average university sponsors at least twenty different sports. 

Playing team sports not only allows you to become fit but has many other benefits too. Sharing fun and special moments, socialization, making new friends and developing teamwork skills are all part of playing in a team. 

Playing a team sport allows you to pick up a number of soft skills, too, such as time management and strategic thinking. Showing you could play a team sport without affecting your studies, or that you could take a responsible role, such as captain, will impress future employees. 

Taking a break from your studies to play a team sport will help to keep your mind focused and alert because exercise increases the blood flow to your brain.  

Solo sports

There are many great ways to spend time exercising on your own. Swimming is one solo sport that offers a low-impact full-body workout. You can schedule it whenever you have the time and an hour of swimming will burn calories and give you some good aerobic exercise. Running, walking and strength training are other enjoyable solo sports.

As a student, you have a heavy workload and you often need to make a concerted effort to fit exercise into your program. You can even engage in an intensive cardio workout right in your dorm room to save time. 

There are many Pilates and yoga videos on YouTube that will give you a good workout. If you feel you don’t have the time, you can use writing services by the professional essay writers to complete college tasks, so your life is more balanced. Thesis or dissertation, college essays or term papers, online writing experts help you with every writing project. 

Adventure sports

If you like to accompany your exercise with a bit of adventure, off-road cycling, hiking, cross-country skiing, rowing, or rock climbing can challenge you. It also allows you to see more of nature, take great photos and forget about your studies for a while so you can return to them refreshed. 

Just remember that adventure sports place more demands on your body and proper nutrition is essential to keep your performance at its peak and reduce chances of injury. 

Reading nutrition essay topics, such as how nutrition influences brain performance or what type of nutrition you need if you do adventure sports, can help you to make the right choices when it comes to what you eat. 

Dance activities

After sitting in class, studying and researching, sometimes all you want to do is get up and move.  Dancing is often an extremely popular activity at college, with lots of interest and a variety of different opportunities, from hip-hop to ballroom. 

Dance clubs are student organizations that dance for fun and provide a great way to get some exercise. As the atmosphere is non-competitive, this is a more laid-back way to participate in dance than to join a dance team which competes with other college teams. 

Most dance clubs also have a performance or two to showcase their talents and you can invite family or friends along to see you perform. Special dance events can include programs organized by students to support charitable causes. 

Unusual sports

If you’re not into traditional sports, college is the place where you’re likely to find some unusual clubs. You could find an unusual club where you’ll meet people with similar interests to you. 

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you may be tickled to play Quidditch which has made its way from fiction into our muggle world. Players may not ride on brooms but the game can be highly entertaining. Roller Derby is another full-contact sport played on wheels by both men and women. 

If you’ve always wondered what Underwater Hockey or Disc Golf (Frolf) must be like to play, now’s your chance. Parkour is another unusual sport that requires quick reflexes and stamina to overcome obstacles and the environment, simply by using your body. 

A final word

To find out what’s available at your school, check the student organizations page on the website and you’ll be amazed at how many diverse opportunities a school may have to offer.  University life can be stressful, with heavy workloads and pressure to meet deadlines for assignments. If you don’t find ways to relieve the pressure, you will find it difficult to cope. 

Sports activities provide the perfect outlet, keep your brain and body healthy and offer you the opportunity to make friends, conquer physical challenges and much more. Finding the right balance between your studies and other activities can be a challenge, but it is important if you want to be able to look back on an enjoyable and memorable university experience.  

Oakley Named Exclusive On-Field Partner

Oakley® announced a monumental four-year partnership with the National Football League, becoming an official on-field partner and licensee of the NFL. The partnership the biggest sports deal in the brand’s history will commence at the start of the forthcoming football season, with Oakley shields and eyewear Powered by Prizm™ Lens Technology being available for all 32 teams, as well as making Officially Licensed NFL Eyewear available for fans.

As a brand rooted in sport performance optics, Oakley’s primary focus for the partnership is to deliver leading lens technology to the game, as well as to consumers around the world. In such a fast-paced sport where quick decision-making is key and clear vision is crucial, Oakley shields are designed to enhance performance, and we are working with the NFL to improve the safety of NFL players. Then for everyday life, Oakley’s lifestyle and sport eyewear will provide everyday athletes the chance to experience the same benefits of Prizm making the world and their respective sport environments look vivid and vibrant and revealing nuances that would normally be missed by the naked eye.

“The Oakley brand started in stadiums and now we will continue our brand journey inside the biggest and most relevant stadiums in North America: football stadiums,” Benjamin Goss, Oakley’s Global Marketing Director. “We are thrilled to partner with the National Football League and its players to push the boundaries of performance and help them see the game differently through Prizm.”

As part of the partnership, for the first time in NFL history, all players will have the option of wearing Prizm Clear shields during games. Prizm Clear, grounded in decades of research, has a slight color tint engineered to help optimize detail recognition in the football environment. As the sport and shields evolve, Oakley’s Prizm Lens Technology will be at the forefront of football gear.

“We see Oakley as an ideal partner because we’re united by the same goal: supporting some of the world’s best athletes in their quest for elite performance,” said Renie Anderson, Chief Revenue Officer & EVP, NFL Partnerships. “Our game is faster and precision is more fundamental than ever, and Oakley provides the technologically-advanced gear that players, coaches and personnel need for peak performance.”

In order to showcase the benefits of Prizm Clear, Oakley launched a new brand film, putting the audience onto the NFL field and letting them experience what the world’s best football players will see through Prizm during a game. To achieve this, the brand created a variety of custom POV camera rigs to bring the experience to life through the eyes of Team Oakley athletes, including 2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes II of the Kansas City Chiefs, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Derwin James Jr. of the Los Angeles Chargers.

View the new campaign HERE.

Oakley develops products and technologies designed to meet the performance demands of the world’s best athletes, but also makes those same innovations available for athletes of all levels. Now that Oakley is an official on-field eyewear partner of the NFL, fans will have access to the same eyewear technology that they see on the sidelines of the NFL.

Additionally, as Oakley is an official licensee, fans can now represent their favorite team with a special-edition NFL eyewear collection from Oakley, available for all 32 teams in two men’s styles, Holbrook™ and Flak® 2.0 XL, and seven teams in a women’s style, Low Key. The special-edition NFL eyewear collection comes equipped with Prizm, official team logo etched on the lens and team color accents throughout. Fans can also customize select frames with the Oakley Custom Program, building a unique piece of eyewear with their NFL team’s logo and preferred colors.

To celebrate the landmark partnership, Oakley took over New York City’s iconic Times Square on the evening of August 26, hosting some of football’s most influential personalities and athletes, both past and present, for a spectacular launch moment. In an immersive and impactful 360 experience, the giant billboards in Times Square went dark, creating a disruptive blackout moment. The area then quickly roared back to life as a larger-than-life visual spectacle showcasing Mahomes, Smith-Schuster and James in a creatively-orchestrated and high-energy content piece specially developed to run across the various screens.

AQUAhydrate Partners With Wounded Warrior Project

AQUAHYDRATE LAUNCHES PARTNERSHIP TO SUPPORT WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT WITH LIMITED-EDITION CAMO-GALLON

AQUAhydrate® has initiated a new partnership with Wounded Warrior Project®(WWP) and is donating $10,000 this summer to help honor and empower wounded warriors. AQUAhydrate is promoting the partnership with a co-branded camouflage edition of their Gallon package, the fastest-growing SKU in the high pH water segment. Available now through the 4th of July, the AQUAhydrate Camo-Gallon can be purchased at CVS, GNC and other fine retailers.

WWP is focused on supporting injured veterans, which includes providing free services in mental health, career counseling, and long-term rehabilitative care. Through its partnership with WWP, AQUAhydrate is helping to make sure warriors are supported on their journey to recovery.

“We’re excited to join forces with Wounded Warrior Project,” said AQUAhydrate investor/board member, Mark Wahlberg. “AQUAhydrate is proud to support their mission to impact and empower the lives of wounded veterans.”

“I’m thrilled to be working with the Wounded Warrior Project team,“ said AQUAhydrate Brand Director, Raz Inserra. “This is such an important partnership for us. All of Team AQUAhydrate is proud to be promoting this program and helping Wounded Warrior Project meet the growing needs of warriors, their families and caregivers.”

About AQUAhydrate

AQUAhydrate, Inc. is a Southern California-based performance lifestyle beverage geared towards the new generation of millennial consumers. Through a proprietary process, its water is purified to some of the most rigorous standards in the industry, supplemented with electrolytes and natural trace minerals and then elevated to an alkaline pH of over 9. It is this powerful synergy between alkalinity, electrolytes and minerals which fuels ultimate hydration, balance and performance.  AQUAhydrate is the water of choice of health/fitness authorities, professional athletes, and sports teams. Leading health and wellness expert, Jillian Michaels, spearheads all health and fitness efforts as AQUAhydrate’s Chief Wellness Officer. AQUAhydrate also boasts active investors and board members Mark Wahlberg and Sean “Diddy” Combs as owners. AQUAhydrate is available at retail locations across the U.S. as well as Amazon.com and GNC.com. Follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  

About Wounded Warrior Project

Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers – helping them achieve their highest ambition. Every journey is different, and Wounded Warrior Project meets warriors wherever they are on their journeys to recovery. Learn more at woundedwarriorproject.org.

2019 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Livestream of 20th Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on Friday, January 25th!

The first time in the event’s history, the Middle East’s IAAF Gold Label race will be available worldwide as a live stream with NO geo-blocking or rights restrictions.

The live feed will also be embedded on a number of leading social media platforms, specialising in running, as well as on the official Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon website and on its newly-created YouTube channel bit.ly/DubaiMarathon2019_LIVE, which is open for subscription.

The three-hour world feed will get underway in time for the start of the elite marathon at 6am (GMT02.00) with a sixteen camera production and full race graphics. There will also be other features and stories highlighted throughout the race including interviews with elite athletes, organisers, sponsors and the more unusual runners with colourful stories to tell.

Bringing all the action as it unfolds throughout the morning will be British running legend Paula Radcliffe, the current Women’s Marathon World Record Holder, and international author and award-winning athletics correspondent Pat Butcher.

2019 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Former champions Lemi Berhanu and Worknesh Degefa will be among the powerful elite line-up when the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon celebrates its 20th edition on the streets of the UAE on January 25.

The two Ethiopians – winners in 2015 and 2017 respectively – are key figures in the roll of honour of the Middle East’s biggest mass participation event, the only IAAF Gold Label Marathon in the region.

Lemi has performed well on the global stage but his best performances have always been on the flat and fast streets of Dubai. As well as winning the title four years ago in a time of 2h:05m:28s, he set his personal best at the event when as defending champion he finished runner-up in 2016 in 2h:04:33.

Still only 25, Lemi has also competed at World Championship level and at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Like an increasing number of elite runners, he has also prospered at the marathon distance in China, winning the Hengshui title with 2h:08m:51s in September 2018, the Xiamen Marathon in 2017 (2h:08m:27s) and the 2014 Taiyuan Marathon (2h:13m:10s).

Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and staged under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council, the 2019 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon will welcome a number of the world’s best athletes as the marathon celebrates its 20th anniversary with elite fields in both the men and women’s races.

Among the leading elite women in the line-up, Worknesh Degefa who stunned the athletics world in 2017 by winning on her marathon debut in Dubai. The Ethiopian caused quite an upset beating a strong field of experienced marathon runners in a time of 2h:22m:36s although she was disappointed 12 months later.

Running in the defence of her crown Worknesh set a new personal best 2h:19m:53s yet failed to break into the top three as the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon once again proved its strength in depth with four women breaking the 2h:20m – the first time the feat has ever been achieved in one race.

“It’s very unusual that a runner will break the 2:20 mark and not win a marathon,” said Event Director Peter Connerton. “But that just shows how deep the quality runs in our elite fields. Last year we had seven men break 2h:05m – a unique result in marathon history – so the athletes competing in Dubai know they have to be at their very best to get among the medals.”

The elite marathon athletes will get their race underway at 6am on January 25, five minutes after the wheelchair athletes take to the course. The mass marathon field will face the starting gun at 7am with the 10km Road Race beginning at 8.30am and the 4km Fun Run at 10.30am. Runners looking to register can still do so by visiting the official website www.dubaimarathon.org.

In addition to Standard Chartered as title sponsor, the Dubai Marathon is supported by the Dubai Sports Council, adidas, Dubai Eye 103.8FM, Aquafina and Gatorade, Dubai Holding, Dubai Police, Dubai Municipality and the RTA.