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London Champions Mutai, Lel Added to NYC Marathon Field

London Champions Mutai, Lel Added to NYC Marathon Field

16 сентября 2011 Комментариев: 0 Поделиться на:
Three of the world's best marathon men, including Virgin London Marathon champions Emmanuel Mutai and Martin Lel of Kenya, have been added to the field of the ING New York City Marathon (Nov. 6), organizers announced.

Mutai, who ran away from one of the strongest fields ever assembled in London last April to win in a course record and personal best 2:04:40, hopes to improve on his second place finish in New York last November. In that race, he was the last athlete to challenge eventual champion Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia before finishing second in 2:09:18. As his agent Michel Boeting said at the time: "He made the race."

"I always aim for the win and I prefer to do that in the biggest races our sport has, so it's an honor to be part of the ING New York City Marathon again," Mutai commented through a prepared statement. "Winning New York would mean I have won two of the biggest races in the world in one year. I know I have a chance to win the overall World Marathon Major title as well, but I can't battle in two races at the same time. So I will just do the maximum during the race and the only place to count points is behind the finish line in Central Park."

Mutai, 27, who is not to be confused with reigning Boston Marathon champion Geoffrey Mutai, won the race in London in very special adidas shoes. Those shoes were designed and made for Haile Gebrselassie, but both he and Mutai have the same size foot (UK8). Mutai somehow got a pair, and ran to victory.

Lel, 33, has the distinction of being both a two-time New York champion (2003 and '07) and a three-time London winner (2005, '07, '08). His sometimes wobbly knees have prevented him from winning even more events (he had twice been contracted to run New York and found himself unable to start because of knee trouble). He was injured for most of 2010, but showed that he is still a top-class athlete now with his runner-up 2:05:45 sprint finish in London this year.

Also racing in New York in November will be two-time world champion and reigning Olympic Marathon silver medalist Jaouad Gharib of Morocco. Although 39 years-old, Gharib is still one of the world's best marathoners. In 2010 he took third at London and won in Fukuoka. This year, he was sixth in London.

Race director Mary Wittenberg also added two more athletes to her field, Mexico's Juan Luis Barrios and Britain's Jo Pavey. Barrios, 28, is an inexperienced marathoner, but has run 13:09.81 for 5000m and finished seventh in the Beijing Olympics at that distance. This year he ran 27:30.68 for 10,000m. Pavey, 37, made her marathon debut in London last April in 2:28:24 and is nearly certain to be selected for Britain's Olympic team at that distance. Both Barrios and Pavey will be making their ING New York City Marathon debuts.

"The field for the ING New York City Marathon 2011 is going to blockbuster strong," Wittenberg commented through a news release. "We're ensured a great race when we have the likes of two-time champion Martin Lel, London champion Emmanuel Mutai, and perennial contender Jaouad Gharib. And we’re honored to host Jo Pavey as she continues her buildup to the London 2012 Olympics in her home country."

All five of the athletes Wittenberg announced will be running in the Bupa Great North Run on Sunday in Newcastle, England. Lel has twice been a Great North champion, in 2007 and '09. Gharib nearly won the race in 2009, but got a bad cramp in his left calf inside of the last kilometer. He stopped on the side of the road, then resumed running to finish third in 1:00:04. He was third in 2010 in 1:02:00.


Including athletes previously announced, the elite fields so far at the ING New York City Marathon are as follows. More athlete announcements are planned, the New York Road Runners said.

Athletes Listed by Personal Best Times:

Emmanuel Mutai, KEN 2:04:40 (London, 2011)
Gebre Gebremariam, ETH 2:04:53 (Boston, 2011)
Martin Lel, KEN 2:05:15 (London, 2008)
Jaouad Gharib, MAR 2:05:27 (London, 2009)
Viktor Rothlin, SUI 2:07:23 (Tokyo, 2008)
Meb Keflezighi, USA 2:09:15 (New York, 2009)
Juan Luis Barrios, MEX 2:14:20 (Torreon, 2011)
Bobby Curtis, USA, Debut
Ed Moran, USA, Debut

Edna Kiplagat, KEN 2:20:46 (London, 2011)
Kim Smith, NZL 2:25:21 (London, 2010)
Jo Pavey, GBR 2:28:24 (London, 2011)
Jen Rhines, USA 2:29:32 (Roma, 2006)
Jen Houck, USA 2:33:01 (Duluth, 2011)
Janet Cherobon-Bawcom, USA 2:37:27 (Albany, GA, 2008)
Camille Herron, USA 2:38:23 (St. Paul, 2009)
Lauren Fleshman, USA Debut
Sarah Porter, USA Debut
Molly Pritz, USA Debut
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