NN Marathon RotterdamThe 41st edition of the NN Marathon Rotterdam has the dream couple at the start with Abdi Nageeye and Bashir Abdi. The Dutchman and Belgian, silver and bronze medalist of the past Games, are motivated. ,,It is time to improve my Dutch record”, says Nageeye.
The athletes who look out the window this Friday will see the high waves on the Maas under the Erasmus Bridge, but Remco Barbier, the new director of the NN Marathon Rotterdam, has just said that the weather conditions appear to be favorable on Sunday. It is not for nothing that the organization dares to express its hope for a new course record. That has been very sharp since October last year with Bashir Abdi’s 2.03.36, also the European record.
The Belgian is back. But now with Abdi Nageeye, who had chosen the New York Marathon shortly after their so special last hundreds of meters in Sapporo. “It’s nice to walk together,” says Nageeye. ,,But it would be stupid if we were only busy with each other. The marathon is unpredictable. And there are a lot of Ethiopians and Kenyans here who want to run 2.03.”
The field of participants this year is very strong. With last year’s full podium with the number 2 and former winner Marius Kipserem (personal best of 2.04.04) and number 3 Dawit Wolde (2.04.27), supplemented by Getaneh Tamire (2.03.30) and Reuben Kipyego (2.03 .55). And then there are the Dutch Bjorn Koreman, debutant Richard Douma and Ronald Schröer.
The women are looking forward to marathon revelation Nienke Brinkman (2.26.34). While last year’s Kenyan winner Stella Barsosio (2.22.04) is also back at the start. The target is a time below 2.20. The Ethiopian Port of Hailu (2.20.19) is also being considered.
That one is from a few years ago. And in the meantime you can’t come home with that in Kenya and Ethiopia
Nageeye is the Dutch record holder with 2.06.17, but he is less and less proud of that time. “It is from a few years ago. And in the meantime you can no longer come home with that in Kenya and Ethiopia. So there are quite a few seconds, or minutes, to go. Due to the coronavirus and a number of choices for races without hares, it has been a while since I ran a marathon at the highest pace. It will take some getting used to, but I’m also looking forward to it.”
Bashir Abdi, meanwhile, is tempering expectations. ,,After my victory in Rotterdam last year, I didn’t really relax enough. It has caused me a lot of pressure, with all kinds of fun obligations. As a result, I started with a training delay. I got seriously injured twice. With a tear in my calf and then in my left adductor. That I’m here is good news. I am healthy again. But that took a while. But I will forget that as soon as I see the crowd and the atmosphere in this home game. Together with Abdi I will try to make it a great race.”
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