Tadese seeks fourth World title in Birmingham

Submitted by ATAF Editor on 10 October 2009 - 9:30pm

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There was pre-race drama ahead of tomorrow's IAAF / EDF Energy World Half Marathon Championships in Birmingham, when three of the main medal contenders, Mary Keitany, Sammy Kitwara and Dathan Ritzenhein, were stuck for nearly an hour in the lift of the REP Theatre, which is being used as the press centre for the event, so preventing them appearing at the official IAAF Press Conference.

Thankfully all were eventually freed but after their exhausting ordeal they returned immediately to the athletes hotel.

Reigning World champion Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea was more fortunate because arriving a few minutes late missed being caught in the incident and speaking at the conference was very upbeat about winning a fourth successive title.

Tadese the World 10,000m silver medallist behind Kenenisa Bekele in August, said: "I am going to run hard to win."

"I have won for the last three years. After Berlin I started preparing for this race because it is important for me and tomorrow I will try to win again."

The Eritrean adamant he will not underestimate the opposition and contesting his first half marathon this year, added: "I was really happy with my performance in Berlin but I think for tomorrow I'm going to have to work hard to win."

Tadese who has a Spanish coach and manager, revealed: "I have prepared in Eritrea because it is high altitude and sometimes in Spain."

He insisted despite dropping out of the London Marathon in April on his debut over the distance, it has not affected his future career plans.

"Yes, I will still run on the track and in road races. (But) for the future I am going to run the marathon."

Tadese explained: "For the London Marathon (in April) I had problems after the World Cross Country (in March). One week before London I was sick."

"Now tomorrow is important, the half marathon is a way forward."

Tadese who will spearhead his country's challenge for a team medal, added: "Yes it's possible but every country will be ready for this competition. But we'll see if the team is ready."