WMM contenders Gebremariam, Kiplagat lead respective fields in Daegu, Korea.
From: Running USA
As the top track and field athletes from around the world arrive in Daegu, Korea for the IAAF World Championships, marathon runners will compete for World Marathon Majors points in addition to gold, silver and bronze medals. The women’s and men’s marathons, scheduled for Saturday, August 27 and Sunday, September 4, respectively, will factor heavily into the current 2010-11 series standings with a number of WMM point-scorers representing their national teams.
In the men’s race, Ethiopia’s Gebre Gebremariam (right), the 2010 ING New York City Marathon champion and third place 2011 Boston Marathon finisher, currently tied for fourth on the leader board with 35 points, would propel himself into the series lead with a World Championship victory. Emmanuel Mutai of Kenya is the current leader with 55 points. Gebremariam’s countrymen Feyisa Lilesa and Bazu Worku, with 10 points apiece, are also poised to climb the series standings with top five finishes in Daegu.
The Kenyan national team features defending world champion Abel Kirui and fellow WMM point-scorer Vincent Kipruto.
The women’s race features a number of athletes on the WMM leader board, namely, 2010 ING New York City Marathon champion and third place 2011 Virgin London Marathon finisher Edna Kiplagat of Kenya, currently tied for second with 35 points. A gold medal performance would propel her into sole possession of second place, five points behind top-ranked Liliya Shobukhova of Russia. Kiplagat will be joined on the start line by her Kenyan teammates Sharon Cherop and Caroline Rotich, the third and fourth place 2011 Boston Marathon finishers.
The Ethiopian squad will be led by Bezunesh Bekele and Aberu Kebede, tied for fourth on the leader board with 25 points apiece. Additionally, Ethiopia’s Aselefech Mergia, the 2009 World Championship bronze medalist, and Atsede Baysa could vastly improve their WMM rankings with top finishes at the World Championships.
The 2010-11 WMM series will conclude with the fall series races – the BMW Berlin Marathon on September 25, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 9, and the ING New York City Marathon November 6.
2010-11 Series Standings
1) Emmanuel Mutai (KEN), 55 points
2) Tsegaye Kebede (ETH), 41
3) Geoffrey Mutai (KEN), 40
4) Patrick Makau (KEN), 35
4) Gebre Gebremariam (ETH), 35
1) Liliya Shobukhova (RUS), 65 points
2) Edna Kiplagat (KEN), 35
2) Mary Keitany (KEN), 35
4) Aberu Kebede (ETH), 25
4) Teyba Erkesso (ETH), 25
4) Bezunesh Bekele (ETH), 25
4) Caroline Kilel (KEN), 25
Go to www.worldmarathonmajors.com for complete WMM series standings.