Ethiopian Tadu, Dibabe to defend Hamburg Marathon crowns


Tadu Abate and Dibabe Kuma will return to defend their titles at the Haspa Marathon Hamburg, a World Athletics Gold Label road race, on 19 April.
At 22, Tadu is still a youngster in marathon running. After his biggest career victory in Hamburg a year ago, when he clocked 2:08:25 in wet and cold conditions, the Ethiopian improved his personal best to 2:06:13 in Amsterdam. This year he will renew his rivalry with compatriot Ayele Abshero who finished second after last year’s thrilling finish, just a second behind Tadu.
In 2018 Abate had left his experienced rival behind him as well, when the pair finished second and third in Hamburg behind fellow-Ethiopian Solomon Deksisa. Ayele Abshero, 29, who has a world-class personal best of 2:04:23, will be eager to be beat his younger rival this time.
Dibabe Kuma returns to head the women’s field after her surprise last year when she produced a great solo run in the poor conditions to win in 2:24:42.
Fellow-Ethiopian Meseret Belete will be one of her main challengers. Just 20, Belete was sixth at the 2018 World Half Marathon Championships and holds a marathon PB of 2:24:54.
Local attention will fall on German star Philipp Pflieger (2:12:50 PB), who is gunning for the Olympic qualifying standard of 2:11:30. He showed good form two days ago when he improved his PB in the half marathon to 1:02:50 in Barcelona.