Dafabet launches athletics betting for London Marathon

Friday April 21 2017

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. PHOTO | DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS |

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. PHOTO | DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS |  AFP

By AYUMBA AYODI
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Dafabet, the latest player on the Kenyan gaming scene, has launched on athletics events, starting with Sunday’s London Marathon where several top Kenyan runners will be in action.

According to a statement from the firm’s London office, Dafabet is offering the platform exclusively to Kenyan customers, keen to tap into the betting-mad Kenyan scene.

Dafabet, a subsidiary of one of Asia’s leading gaming company, is keen to tap into athletics craze in Kenya.

“Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele and Kenya’s Mary Keitany, considered favourites for the London race, have been assigned odds of 2.00 and 3.50 respectively,” a statement from Dafabet said.

“In the carefully prepared odds appearing on www.dafabet.co.ke, 5,000 metres Olympic champion Vivian Cheruiyot, making her marathon debut has a mouth-watering 5.50 odds and Florence Kiplagat at 7.00 to win,” the statement added.

Despite her debut, Dafabet appears to fancy the diminutive Vivian winning ahead of Kiplagat.

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.”

“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) are 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.

Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge, who is currently training to lower the marathon world record to below the two-hour mark, won last year’s London Marathon by clocking two hours, three minutes and five seconds.

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

Ahead of Sunday’s race, Keitany, the second fastest woman of all time, said a new World Record on could be the 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 the race website.

“I’m ready to race on Sunday. If the weather is fine for us, and we cooperate, I think we will run a great time,” said Keitany.