(MENAFN- Gulf Times) A stellar international field of athletes have confirmed their
participation in the Ooredoo Doha Marathon to be held on January 12,
Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) announced yesterday.
As many as 20 international professional men and women will be joining a
record number of more than 2,000 amateur athletes already signed up for
the mega event. These top athletes will represent Qatar's key tourism
markets including the USA, UK, Germany, Italy, Turkey as well as Spain
The field is lining up with Mohamed Farah, six-time world champion and
four-time Olymic gold medallist, one of the greatest athletes of all
time, in the half-marathon event taking place on January 12.
The men's field also includes Germnay's Arne Gabius, a former European
10,000m silver medallist and Olympian, leading Turkish middle and
long-distance runner Bekir Karayel, who have competed in the 2012 and
The other prominent athletes are USA's Ryan Vail, who has finished in
the top ten in the London, Berlin and New York City marathons and
Somali-American long-distance runner and one of the world's top distance
runners Abdi Abirahman. He is a four-time Olympian competing for the
United States in 10,000m and marathon categories. He also finished third
in the New York City Marathon in 2016.
The women's field includes UK's Gemma Steel, who came late to the
professional ranks via an amateur running club background rather than an
elite junior pathway. In 2017, she won the Great Ireland Run, Great
South Run, Virgin British 10K and came sixth in the Great North Run.
Italy's Sara Dossena will also join the athletes for the event. The
reigning Italian 10,000m champion, Sara came sixth in the 2017 New York
City Marathon. In addition to being a top road runner she has also held
national championships in Cross Country Running, triathlon and duathlon.
Turkey's Esma Aydemir, a rising star of the middle and long-distance
Allison Kieffer, a top American distance runner and world record holder
for the indoor marathon will also be in action. In 2017, Kieffer placed
fifth at (2:29:39) at the 2017 New York City Marathon and she is a past
winner of the Miami Marathon.
The invitational elite half is part of the Ooredoo Doha Marathon which
includes a full marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K events for adults
and youth as well as 3K and 1K events for children. Over the past five
years, the Ooredoo Doha Marathon has steadily grown to become the
largest mass participation event in Qatar attracting runners from over
The elite athletes have expressed their excitement to be coming to Doha
to run and experience the destination's unique offerings. They will be
competing for $50,000 in prize money, with equal prize funds for both
the men's and women's events.
Gabius said, 'I'm excited to competing at the Half Marathon in Doha;.
The race is a great fit into my overall plans for 2018, since I'm
preparing for a spring marathon. It will be great to get a break from
training and test my fitness against some of the best athletes in the
world. This will also be my first time visiting Qatar and my family is
travelling with me, which makes it even more exciting. No doubt we will
enjoy the weather and we hope to visit some of the cultural landmarks,
like the Museum of Islamic Art.
Gemma Steele said, 'I am delighted to be competing in the Half Marathon
in Doha. The event offers a great course, some quality competition and a
fantastic location in which to train and race. The facilities are top
class and the people of Qatar are very welcoming. The organisation has
been great too. I shall run my heart out for you!
Acting chairman at QTA Hassan al-Ibrahim said, 'We are thrilled to be
welcoming the top international champions to Qatar to participate in the
country's largest mass participation event. Their involvement helps us
to spread Qatar's message of welcome to the world, and shines a
spotlight on a fast-growing sports tourism destination. We look forward
to hosting them with the traditional Arabian hospitality Qatar is
renowned for, as well as hosting them on visits to some of our
world-class sports facilities.
QTA and Discover Qatar are offering participants from abroad special
hospitality packages, which can be found at the Discover Qatar website.
Registration fees for the Ooredoo Doha Marathon range between QR100 and
QR250 depending on the participant's selected course and age. 100% of
this year's fees will be donated to charity.
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