Need more Kenyans if we want the world record: Kamali
Kamali was all praise for the number of people that turned up to make it the Middle East's biggest mass participation sporting event.
Dubai - Kenya's Dennis Kimetto holds the world record in the men with a time of 02:02:57
By Clareto Monsorate
Published: Fri 26 Jan 2018, 4:30 PM
Last updated: Sun 28 Jan 2018, 1:40 PM
Ahmad Al Kamali, Event General Coordinator of Dubai Marathon and president of the UAE Athletics Federation, was expectedly ecstatic after the completion of the 2018 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on Friday as five course records were broken in the men's and two in the women's events.
However, when asked if the World Record was under threat, he said, "for that we need to bring in more Kenyans."
"I was telling my race director - Peter Connerton - we need to bring more Kenyans now because they are crazy for the world record. They don't care about stopping after 30kms so that could be a trick we need to capitalise on.
"If you look at history the Berlin record was broken three times and all by Kenyans, not Ethiopians, so we need to consider them for our next race, but at the same time, I can say we are absolutely on track," he added with a smile.
Kenya's Dennis Kimetto holds the world record in the men with a time of 02:02:57.
When asked if Kimetto was approached, Al Kamali said: "We did not approach Kimetto, we approached his manager but were not successful."
The race, however, gave lesser known runners a chance to hog the limelight. "A lot of new boys and girls will benefit from today's run. Their market will jump. The world will be looking at them and their price will go up as Dubai is a platform.
"In fact today, everything happened, except the world record. But it (WR) was under threat till the 28-29 kms. Unfortunately, at that stage, the runners did not follow the pace maker. Yet, they were running for the fastest time but in the last 4kms the runners, I think, started to worry about the financial part of the race as the winner takes home $200,000.
"With that in mind, I guess, they forgot about the timing and just wanted to ensure they completed the race as there are chances of collapsing before that in a bid to get to the world record," he confided.
"Still it was a good race," Kamali said, "as never has it happened after Paula Radcliffe's world record of 02:15:25 that four women athletes finished the race under 2:20:00. So, we can say we are inching towards the world record in the future."
Brimming from cheek to cheek, Al Kamali said: "I'm sure today's news is going to be big around the world. We are clearly No. 2 after the Berlin Marathon and in the women we are clearly the best."
Kamali was all praise for the number of people that turned to make it the Middle East's biggest mass participation sporting event.
He also lauded the RTA and Dubai Police for conducting a fantastic job. "To stop the traffic in Dubai for seven hours is a lot of effort," he said.