• Athletics The Valencia Marathon, last ticket to Sapporo

World record.

Two words that are difficult to pronounce in the surroundings of the Valencia Marathon but that

Birhanu Legese

did not



The Ethiopian athlete did not hesitate to affirm that the intention to beat the world record of

Eliud Kipchoge

(2:01:39) will jump to tour the circuit of the 40th edition of the Valencian test, a survivor of the pandemic although a participation limited to 270 runners and with the best of the world elite.

Legese will try to fulfill the dream of

Juan Roig

, the main sponsor of the event through the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation and in collaboration with the SD Correcaminos.

The businessman set himself the challenge to turn Valencia into the "city of running" and to link the greatest number of records possible to it.

The Ethiopian is the third fastest man in the world, with a time of 2:02:48, behind world record


Kipchoge and


(2:01:41), who will not be at the start of the City of Arts and Science this Sunday.

"I think it is possible to run below the world record, I will try it on Sunday. I am well prepared and the circuit is good for running fast," Legese did not hesitate to say, who will have two compatriots,

Kinde Atanaw

(2.03 : 51) and

Leul Gebreselasie

(2.04: 02), competing for the win.

More cautious wanted to be the director of the Marathon,

Paco Borao


"They are looking for" the greatest records, those in the world, but it is very complicated. "

Marc Roig

, the international elite coach of the event, did

not want to emphasize this possibility either. He

was blunt in stating that on Sunday "we are not going to see only one of the best races of the year, but also one of the best in history. ".

Roig highlighted the difficulty in selecting the elite athletes for this edition, "because since there were no competitions, all the athletes in the world wanted to be in Valencia and it has been painful to have to say no for reasons of capacity, but those who are they are the best in the world".

He highlighted the absences of

Geoffrey Kamworor

, who has not recovered from a traffic accident suffered, and especially of the fastest woman in the world in 5,000 meters,

Letesenbet Gidey

, who was going to make her debut in the distance in Valencia and who has not been able to leave Ethiopia due to the war in the Tigray region, where he resides.

As a rookie among the 42km women's elite will be

Peres Jepchirchir

, who debuted in the event in 2013 but has only run three.

That will be his fourth and he hopes to beat his personal best.

"I know the team is very good, but the preparation has gone very well, I am very motivated and I have run two half marathons with good times and that has motivated me to go for more," he said.

Half Marathon, for all

In the Valencia Elite Edition Half Marathon is where the organization hopes to beat the two world records. In the men's category it could be done by

Rhonex Kipruto

, debutant in the distance but world record holder of 10K with 26:24, said that his goal is "to run and win".

"I know Valencia very well, I know well that records are broken and my preparation has been good, so I hope that his debut is also good," he said.

His duel with the Ugandan Jacob Kiplimo, world half marathon champion, will be one of the great attractions of the event.


Senbere Teferi

(1h05: 32) will attack first in women 's


She is a rookie, like her main rival, Genzebe Dibaba, but she arrives strong and that she saw herself able to lower the Ethiopian record that she owns.

Strict security measures

The Valencia Marathon is subject to strict health security measures.

In addition to being held without public in the streets, the athletes are subjected today to a test that determines that they do not have Covid and since their arrival in Valencia they have their movements controlled.

They are housed in individual rooms, they eat and dine in them and the trips to the starting line will be done on foot and in groups of maximum six people.

National participation

Athletes of 43 nationalities will start in the marathon, the last great test in which they can achieve the Olympic minimum to be eligible to play the marathon of the Tokyo Games, which will be run in Sapporo next summer.

This has made the federations have taken a lot of interest in their best athletes being in the Valencian race.

In the case of national athletes, selected by

José Antonio Redolat

, they will look for their passport to the Games Hamid Ben Daoud (2.07: 33), Ayad Lamdassem (2.09: 28), Iván Fernández (2.09: 55), Camilo Santiago (2.10: 02), Houssame Benabbou (2.10: 45), Daniel Mateo (2.10: 53), Iraitz Arrospide (2.10: 59), Juan Antonio 'Chiki' Pérez (2.11: 50) and Toni Abadía, who debuts in the distance.

Marta Galimany already has it, as champion of Spain, but she will try to beat Spain's marathon record (2.26: 51).

They will take the exit in Valencia Elena Loyo (2.30: 57), Irene Pelayo (2.32: 15), Gema Barrachina (2.33: 29) or Alicia Pérez (2.35: 17).

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