Top Ethiopians target course records at Ottawa Marathon

Meselech Melkamu OttawaOrganizers of the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon are expecting the event records to fall again this year, thanks to a faster course, higher calibre pacers and a highly competitive field of runners for the IAAF Silver Label Road Race on 24 May.

Leading the way is Ethiopian duo Girmay Birhanu and Meselech Melkamu. Both athletes won in Daegu earlier this year; a good omen, given that Yemane Tsegaye also triumphed in the Korean city in 2014 before heading to Ottawa and setting a Canadian all-comers’ record of 2:06:54.

Birhanu has a PB of 2:05:49, set in Dubai last year, but that makes him just the second-fastest athlete in the field. Compatriot Dadi Yami clocked 2:05:41, also in Dubai, back in 2012 and will be looking for his first career victory over 26.2 miles.

Joining him is 2009 Boston Marathon winner Deribe Merga. The 32-year-old has won the 10km in Ottawa twice before, but this will be his first marathon in Canada.

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