A Duel Of Champions Happening In Hannover

Joseph Kiptum won last year's Hannover Marathon in a photo finish. Photo: IAAF

The 2011 and 2012 winners will both toe the line.

On May 5, the German city of Hannover will be center stage for what should be an exciting duel between Joseph Kiptum of Kenya and South Africa’s Lusapho April.

The pair will compete in the TUI Marathon, an IAAF bronze-label road race. Kiptum won the 2012 edition, while Lusapho was the 2011 champion.

Kiptum’s victory last year was an amazing demonstration of perseverance. Despite stomach pains, he pressed on and edged out Ethiopian rival Megersa Bacha Chikuala at the tape. The finish was so close that both runners were given the same time of 2:09:56.

This year, Kiptum will target the course record of 2:08:52.

Interestingly, neither of the two recent champions enter the race with the fastest seed time. That distinction belongs to Kenyan Wilfred Kigen, who set his personal best of 2:07:33 in Hamburg six years ago. Kigen has dominated on the German roads in the past, as he won the Frankfurt Marathon from 2005-07.

In the women’s race, all eyes are on Kenyans Julia Muraga and Mercy Kibarus.

For More: IAAF

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