Major Implications In Elite Marathoning This Weekend

Will Tesgaye Kebede still be leading the World Marathon Majors rankings after this weekend? Photo: PhotoRun.net

Will Tsegaye Kebede still be leading the World Marathon Majors rankings after this weekend? Photo: PhotoRun.net

Boston, London races will likely reshuffle the WMM leaderboard.

The 2010–2011 World Marathon Majors series resumes with a doubleheader weekend, beginning with the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday then jumping over the Atlantic for the Boston Marathon the next day.

The WMM series leaderboard is sure to be reshuffled in the chase for the $1 million jackpot. Many of the world’s top marathoners will be looking to chase down WMM series points leaders Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia and Liliya Shobukhova of Russia on the streets of London. And another group of talented athletes will be in the hunt for the title on the famed Hopkinton-to-Boston course.

In London, Kebede and Shobukhova lead one of the most talented packs of athletes ever seen on a starting line. Kebede, with 40 points, brings a 10-point lead into London. A win would push him at least 15 points ahead of anyone who could potentially reach second place in the series standings. He will have his work cut out for him, however, as Kenyans Emmanuel Mutai (30 points) and Patrick Makau (25 points) will toe the line with him. Unfortunately, a leg injury has sidelined the 2008 Olympic champion and reigning WMM series champion, Kenya’s Samuel Wanjiru.

Shobukhova is the early favorite to retain her WMM series title. She comes into London with 50 points, after 2010 wins in London and at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Another London win would give her an almost insurmountable lead heading into the fall marathon season. Ethiopia’s Aberu Kebede (25 points), ING New York City Marathon 2010 champion Edna Kiplagat of Kenya (25 points), and fellow Russian Inga Abitova (20 points) will try to keep Shobukhova from running away with the WMM crown.

In Boston, Kenya’s Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot (25 points) and ING New York City Marathon 2010 winner Gebre Gebremariam (25 points) of Ethiopia could climb the ladder with strong finishes on Patriots’ Day. American favorite Ryan Hall could also work his way into the picture with a podium finish.

In the women’s race, returning champion Teyba Erkesso (25 points) of Ethiopia could stay in contention with another win. She can expect challenges from last year’s runner-up Tatyana Pushkareva (15 points) of Russia, and American star Kara Goucher, who is returning to WMM action after the birth of her first child last fall.

2010-2011 WMM Leaderboards

Men

Place           Name                                       Country          Points      Spring ’11 marathon

1                  Tsegaye Kebede                          ETH                 40                    London

2                  Emmanuel Mutai                           KEN                30                    London

3                  Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot            KEN                25                    Boston

3                  Gebre Gebremariam                     ETH                 25                    Boston

3                  Patrick Makau                              KEN                25                    London

3                  Samuel Wanjiru                            KEN                25                    London

7                  Tekeste Kebede                           ETH                 15                    Boston

7                  Geoffrey Mutai                             KEN                15                    Boston

Women

Place           Name                                       Country          Points         Spring ’11 marathon

1                  Liliya Shobukhova                        RUS                 50                   London

2                  Teyba Erkesso                             ETH                 25                   Boston

2                  Aberu Kebede                             ETH                 25                   London

2                  Edna Kiplagat                               KEN                25                  London

5                  Inga Abitova                                 RUS                 20                  London

5                  Bezunesh Bekele                          ETH                 20                   London

7                  Atsede Baysa                               ETH                 15                   Idle

7                  Shalane Flanagan                          USA                 15                  Idle

7                  Tatyana Pushkareva                      RUS                 15                  Boston

World Marathon Majors Scoring

1st: 25 points           2nd: 15 points              3rd: 10 points              4th: 5 points        5th: 1 point

Complete WMM Series leaderboards are posted at www.worldmarathonmajors.com.

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