Runners.pngMarathon runners (L-R) Kenya’s Florence Kiplagat, Ethiopia’sTirunesh Dibaba, Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat, Ethiopia’s Tiki Gelana and Kenya’s Priscah Jeptoo pose for photographers near Tower Bridge in central London on April 10, 2014, during a photo call ahead of the 2014 London Marathon. AFP PHOTO/BEN STANSALL

World half marathon champion Edna Kiplagat and world and Olympic 10,000m champion Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia will renew their rivalry when they line up the Bupa Great North Run on September 7.

Kiplagat became the first back to back winner of the IAAF World Championship women’s marathon title at the 2013 world championships in Moscow but had been beaten by Dibaba in a thrilling sprint finish in the 2012 Bupa Great North Run.

However, the tables were turned in the London Marathon in April this year. After Dibaba dropped a bottle at the 30km drinks station, Kiplagat pulled clear to win the race.

Dibaba had to settle for third place in her debut marathon but returned to winning ways in the Bupa Great Manchester Run 10k in May. The 28-year-old has not raced since then but is getting ready for what promises to be another gripping head-to-head with Kiplagat.

The diminutive Ethiopian has been a trailblazer in women’s distance running for more than a decade now.

She became the youngest ever individual world champion when she won the 5000m title as an 18-year-old in Paris back in 2003.

Dibaba became the first woman to complete an Olympic double at 5000m and 10,000m when she struck gold at both distances in Beijing in 2008 and she successfully defended her 10,000m crown at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

She has held the world 5000m record, 14:11.15, since 2008 and extended her range to the marathon in London on 13 April, finishing third in 2:20:35. It made Dibaba the third fastest ever debutante over the classic distance.

Dibaba’s form over the half marathon distance on Tyneside will be a pointer towards her prospects in a second venture over the marathon distance.

This year’s event is guaranteed to be a momentous occasion. It will be the first running event in the world to reach a landmark one million finishers.

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