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Will a new European record fall on Sunday at the Rotterdam Marathon?

Olympic hero Bashir Abdi plans to attack the existing European record at the most important marathon this weekend on October 24, 2021.

Only two Europeans under 2:05 hours

The Belgian, who sensationally finished third in the Olympic marathon at the beginning of August, is now planning another major coup. He wants to attack the two-year-old continental record of the Turk Kaan Kigen Özbilen. The Kenyan-born runner, who has changed nations without reference to Turkey since 2015, ran 2:04:16 at the Valencia Marathon two years ago. He is thus the only European besides Abdi who has already run under 2:05 hours over the marathon distance. Abdi achieved this last year with a time of 2:04:49 hours at the elite marathon in Tokyo.

Spurred on by Olympic success

Bashir Abdi's greatest success came just a few months ago when he ran to a bronze medal behind marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge and training partner Abdi Nageeye. Particularly memorable was the fact that Nageeye repeatedly motivated his training partner in the final kilometers to keep up with the chasing group with the Kenyan Lawrence Cherono. In the end, Cherono did indeed have to admit defeat to the duo in the battle for silver and bronze.

Now Bashir Abdi has to do without the support of his training colleague. In Rotterdam, however, Abdi is one of the top favorites, even though he could not quite convince with a half marathon time of 1:02:08 hours at the Great North Run in September.

Strong competition for Bashir Abdi

In addition to attacking the European record, Bashir Abdi is also aiming for victory in the third major Dutch city marathon within a short time. However, the competition is extremely strong. For example, course record holder Marius Kipserem has confirmed his participation. The Kenyan ran an outstanding 2:04:11 hours two years ago. He is aiming for his third victory in Rotterdam after 2016 and 2019. Also holding a best under 2:05 hours is Solomon Deksisa. The Ethiopian won the Hamburg Marathon in 2018 and just missed victory in Rotterdam a year later with 2:04:18 hours. Dangerous outsider is the third from 2019, Emmanuel Saina from Kenya. Also dangerous could be Dawit Wolde. The Ethiopian won the Prague Marathon in 2019.

Kenyan duel in the women's race?

The elite field in the women's race is less strong. There, everything probably boils down to a victory for Kenya. The fastest entry time has Bornes Kitur, who ran an outstanding 2:21:26 hours in Lubljana in 2019. Also at the start is marathon series winner Stella Barsosio. The runner from Kenya has already won a dozen marathons, but mostly those that were not so high-profile. She set her best performance two years ago in Rotterdam with 2:23:36 hours (2nd place).

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Event completely booked up

As with the recent marathons in Eindhoven (October 10) and Amsterdam (October 17), there are no corona rules or restrictions for the Rotterdam Marathon. This means that the organizers can expect a similarly high number of participants as two years ago. The 17,000 starting places for the marathon were fully booked. With all the fringe events, the event will have around 40,000 participants.

All information about the Rotterdam Marathon

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