NAIROBI, April 15 (Xinhua) -- Dubai Marathon winner Ruth Chepngetich (66:09) faces Ethiopia's reigning World Half-Marathon champion Netsanet Gudeta (65:45) in the Istanbul Half Marathon on Sunday.
The line-up also includes Ethiopians Bekelech Gudeta (67:03) and Helen Tola (67:47) and Kenya's Delvine Meringor (67:48) while multiple European champion Yasemin Can from Turkey makes her debut at the distance.
Chepngetich set the Istanbul course record of 1:06:19 in 2017.
"I feel strong and ready to take on the opposition because this race is important in my preparations for the World Championships," said Chepchetich on Friday.
Chepngetich was second in the Bahrain race last month, clocking 1:06:09 to clip ten seconds from her personal best.
She began 2019 with a bang, winning January's Dubai Marathon in 2:17:08 to become the third fastest marathoner in history.
Other standouts include Ethiopians Bekelech Gudeta and Helen Tola, who have 1:07:03 and 1:07:47 lifetime bests to their credit; and Kenyan Delvine Meringor, another sub-1:08 runner.
The men's line-up is headed by Ethiopia's reigning champion Amdework Walelegn (59:22) and teammate Guye Adola (59:06). Ali Kaya and Aras Kaya both compete for Turkey as well.
The fastest of those is Adola, whose 59:06 best came in New Delhi back in 2014. But he's gotten off to a decent start in 2019, winning the Roma-Ostia Half Marathon last month in 1:00:17.
Kenya's fastest entrant is Peter Kwemoi, a 59:58 man who won this year's Verona Half-Marathon. Aziz Lahbabi of Morocco also has solid credentials, with a 59:25 lifetime best from 2014.