Tirunesh Dibaba heads high quality women's field at the 2018 BMW BERLIN-MARATHON - Phicomm is the new Timing Partner




Tirunesh Dibaba heads high quality women's field at the 2018 BMW BERLIN-MARATHON - Phicomm is the new Timing Partner // With News Clip


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The elite women’s field for the 45th edition of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON 2018 is the strongest for many years. At the top of the entries is one of the best female distance runners of all time, Tirunesh Dibaba from Ethiopia. The 32-year-old has won three gold medals at consecutive Olympic Games (2008 and 2012) and five World Championships from 2003 to 2013. For good measure, Dibaba has also four World Cross Country titles to her credit. Her personal best is 2:17:56, set in finishing second at the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon which makes her the third fastest woman in the history of the marathon. Dibaba is keen to beat this time in Berlin and, given ideal weather conditions, might even have a chance of attacking Paula Radcliffe’s world record of 2:15:25, set by the Briton in 2003.

Alongside Tirunesh Dibaba on the start line will be three other women with best times under 2:20. The 35-year-old Gladys Cherono from Kenya has won Berlin twice before, in 2015 and 2017 and her best of 2:19:25 was achieved in the first of those victories.

The most experienced contender is the 38-year-old Edna Kiplagat. The Kenyan has the most successful record of any of her rivals in Berlin, having twice won the world title (2011 and 2013) and taken silver in 2017. In addition she has won the 2010 TCS New York City Marathon, the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2014 and the 2017 Boston Marathon. The scale of her achievements doesn’t end there because Kiplagat also has numerous podium finishes in the Abbott World Marathon Majors series having finished runner-up in London on three occasions from 2011 to 2013, third in Tokyo in 2016 and second in Chicago the same year.

Yebrugal Melese (28) from Ethiopia is a very experienced runner. She has 14 marathons under her belt and, amongst others, won the Prague Marathon in 2015, and placed 2nd in Chicago (2017 and 2018) as well as in Paris (2014) and in Frankfurt (2017). She ran her personal best placing 3rd in Dubai in January 2018.

Aselefech Mergia should have good memories of Berlin since it was here that the 33-year-old Ethiopian won a bronze medal at the 2009 World Championships. She also has an impressive record in the Dubai Marathon, achieving a hat-trick of wins in 2011, 2012 and 2015. Her personal best of 2:19:31 was set when winning the Dubai title in 2012.

Another Ethiopian to be taken into consideration is Ruti Aga who ran her best time of 2:20:41 in Berlin last year when she was second while Japan’s Mizuki Matsuda won her debut marathon this year in Osaka with 2:22:44.

The BMW BERLIN-MARATHON is one of the world’s leading marathons, not least because its super-fast course has been the stage for ten world records – three by women, seven by men. Since 2003 all six world marathon records were run in Berlin including the current top time of 2:02:57 by Dennis Kimetto. In 2001 Japan’s Naoko Takahashi became the first woman to break 2:20 when the Olympic Marathon Champion from the previous year ran 2:19:43.

Highly popular bib numbers for the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON are always sold out since 2006. Runners have to apply in October for a lottery system which determines who will receive a starting place. Additionally travel agents, charity partners and sponsors receive a certain number of guaranteed entries. 43,852 runners were registered for the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON 2017.

The BMW BERLIN-MARATHON is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors(AWMM), the group of six leading marathons in the world which was founded in 2006. They comprise Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York. The winners and leading finishers at the six AWMM races earn points according to their positions which culminate in an overall men’s and women’s winner at the end of a one-year-cycle.

The prize money for the winners amounts to US$ 250,000 each. Since 2016 the series has also included wheelchair athletes. An age group category for mass runners has now been added with a points system to decide men’s and women’s winners. Series XII begins with the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON 2018 and will end with the Berlin race in 2019. Further information about the scoring system for elite and mass competitors can be found at: www.worldmarathonmajors.com

Phicomm is the new Timing Partner of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON
Phicomm, provider of overall smart life solutions, is this year’s event’s official co-sponsor as well as the Timing Partner.

For Phicomm’s president, who is a running enthusiast himself, it was an easy decision to participate in Germany’s biggest marathon. “As a passionate runner, I have finished several marathons”, said Guoping Gu, president of Phicomm (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. Furthermore the 45th BMW BERLIN-MARATHON perfectly integrates in Phicomm’s strategical realignment in the area of smart life products. “With our smart health products, we support customers, who strive for a healthy and athletic lifestyle. Currently we are developing a new fitness wristband, which tracks the runner’s progress when he trains.” Phicomm’s new fitness band W3 will enter the German market in September 2018. Phicomm also supports the Chinese national association for athletics. 46 runners will be invited to travel to Germany’s capital Berlin to one-up their personal high scores and to join “Team Phicomm”.

Christian Jost
, Managing Director of SCC EVENTS, is enthusiastic about the commitment by the Chinese high-tech provider: “With Phicomm, the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON gains an innovative partner in communications technology, who at the same time is passionate about running. In our view, this is a promising combination. We are looking forward to the cooperation.”