Dubai (UAE): Swedish elite athlete Hanna Lindholm will target a place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics when she competes in the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on January 24, thanks to a coveted invitation from the event organisers in the UAE.
The experienced Swede is no stranger to the roads of Dubai having competed in the Marathon in 2018 as a private entry when she smashed her personal best by four minutes and qualified for the European Championships in Berlin.
This time, it’s qualification for the Olympic Games that is paramount and the 40-year-old from Stockholm is focused on making the 2:28:00 mark that would seal qualifica-tion for the world’s biggest athletics event in Japan.
“I really like the straight and fast course in Dubai and wanted to run a marathon as early as possible in 2020,” said Lindholm, who has improved her Marathon personal best by almost 15 minutes in five years and combines athletics with a career as a Quality Assurance Manager in a pharmaceutical company.
“My hope is to qualify for the Olympics and while my personal record is 2:29:34, the Swedish Olympic Qualifying Time I need to beat is 2:28:00. I was really happy to re-ceive the invitation since I decided very late that I wanted to run in Dubai and I know the elite field there has the fastest runners in the world. Now that I know I am in the field, I will train for a couple of weeks in Florida before the event as the weather con-ditions in Sweden are not so good at this time of year.”
Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Mak-toum, Crown Prince of Dubai, the 2020 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon will see Lindholm aim to maintain a recent run of superb form as she continues her progress at the classic distance.
“I ran Sweden’s second fastest marathon time ever when I ran in Valencia in 2018 (2:30:37) and then improved it by more than a minute in Hamburg in April 2019. The whole last year has been amazing because I feel I have reached a new level and beaten my records at every distance.”
Lindholm’s reward for an outstanding season is an invite to compete at the Middle East’s first and only IAAF Gold Label Marathon.
“Hanna took part in the 2018 Marathon in Dubai as a private entry and has been con-sistently improving her performances over the distance as well as being a gold med-alist in the Swedish Championships at 10km,” said Standard Chartered Dubai Mara-thon Race Director Peter Connerton. “We are delighted to extend an invitation to Hanna to compete in Dubai at the end of January and wish her every success in her efforts to qualify for the Olympics in Japan.
As well as the Marathon, runners looking to take part in the associated 10km Road Race or the 4km Fun Run can register online only at www.dubaimarathon.org. UAE Nationals in particular are being encouraged to take part in the event thanks to the ‘#My City_My Race’ campaign, an initiative launched by Dubai Holding.
In addition to Standard Chartered as title sponsor, the Dubai Marathon is supported by the Dubai Sports Council, adidas, Dubai Holding, Masafi, Channel 4 Radio Net-work, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Police and the RTA. Live TV coverage of the race will be available at http://bit.ly/DubaiMarathon2020.