New betting platform for athletics: Dafabet Kenya opens Marathon exclusively to Kenyan customers

Ethiopia's Tigist Tufa, Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba, Ethiopia's Mare Dibaba, Kenya's Florence Kiplagat, Kenya's Mary Keitany and Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot pose outside Tower Bridge in central London during a photocall for the Women's marathon elite athletes on April 19, 2017 ahead of the upcoming London marathon. / AFP PHOTO /

Dafabet Kenya is set to announce today the availability of London Marathon for betting this Sunday.

Betting on athletics is a first of its kind in Kenya, with the subsidiary of Asia’s leading gaming company Dafabet keen to tap into athletics craze in Kenya.

The Virgin Money London Marathon will be run this Sunday with a stellar cast of Kenyan athletes and their eternal rivals Ethiopia ready, as usual, for battle.

Speaking to Standard Sports, Dafabet’s Director of Retail and Regional Operations, Louis Watts, said they are keen to offer a good product to customers in “a country with so many great athletic champions.”

“We will on Friday (today) announce the modalities of how to register and place a bet. It is going to be interesting,” Watts said.

“Placing a bet would give an opportunity to athletics fans to test their knowledge and gut feelings by placing their bets. Kenya’s rivalry with Ethiopia is legendary.

“Bekele (Kenenisa) and Abel (Kirui) will be there. Mary (Keitany) and Dibaba (Tirunesh) are there. It is a good field. This is an opportunity for Kenyans to bet on their favourite athletes,’ Watts said ahead of the announcement today.

Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge, who is currently training to lower the World Record to below the two-hour mark, won last years London Marathon by clocking 2:03:05. Stanley Biwott finished second in 2:03:51 as Kenyans left Kenenisa Bekele gasping for breath in third place for 2:06:36.

In the women category, Jemima Sumgong, who is battling to clear her name over doping allegations  won in 2:22:58 with Ethiopian Tigist Tufa (2:23:03) sandwiched by Sumgong and Florence Kiplagat (2:23:39).

Ahead of Sunday, Keitany, the second fastest woman of all time, said a new World Record could be on the cards when she will be going for her third London victory.

Keitany will be up against a field that includes four women who have broken the two hours 20-minute barrier and eight that have run under 2:22.00.

Briton Paula Radcliffe set the 2:17:42 World Record at the 2005 London Marathon, but Keitany believes it could go on Sunday.

“I’ve trained enough,” Keitany told www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com. “I’m ready to race on Sunday.”

The 35-year-old went on to say: “If the weather is fine for us, and we cooperate, I think we will run a great time,” said Keitany.

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