NAIROBI, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's Rotterdam marathon bronze medalist Moses Mosop will not attend this year's Dubai marathon because of family commitments.
Mosop, the former Chicago marathon winner, has fully recovered from his muscle injury, but was forced to stay home to deal with urgent family matters. This means that Kenya will have one man less as its elite runners seek the title that was won by Ethiopian Ayele Abshero last year.
"I was focused on running in Dubai, but I have some issues that can't allow me to travel out. I have to deal with them and that means forfeiting my place in the starting line up for the Dubai marathon on Friday," Mosop said to Xinhua by telephone Thursday from Eldoret.
Kenya last won the 250,000 U.S. dollar winning prize marathon (for both men and women champions) in 2011 through David Barmasai Tumo, who returns to Dubai eyeing to recover his lost medal. Lucy Kabuu was second last year in the women race, also a debut for her.
Yemane Tsegay will lead Ethiopian challenge while focus will be on Moses Masai, who is making his inaugural attempt over the 42km distance.
Organizers of the Dubai marathon have announced the elite list with total prize purse of one million dollars at stake, equal rights, men and women, there is an impressive list of pretenders for the title.
Last winner Ethiopian Ayele Abshero is currently injured (as is women's winner, Aselefech Mergia), and so cannot defend; but leading the men's pack is veteran Martin Lel, the former New York and London marathon champion. Other Kenyans lining up are Bernard Koech and Mike Kigen.
With 13 men under 2.08, and another five under 2.10, Dubai has in a very short time become one of the highest quality fields in the world of marathon.
Silver medalists Lucy Wangui Kabuu has also confirmed she will be running in Dubai as she seeks to improve her pecking to the gold status. This has been aided by the announcement by the organizers that defending champion for women Aselefech Mergia will not be back as she has an injury.
Kabuu, who will be eying a second chance, said in Embu, where she was beaten to second place in the senior women 8km cross country, that her aim was to do well and earn the selectors favour to represent the country at the World Athletics Championships in Russia.
"I want to run in Dubai, then I will see how the year goes on. London or Boston is a possibility in April, after that it is to wait and see what the year has," she said Saturday in Embu.