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Excitement Runs High After Mikitenko’s Win in Berlin

Monday, September 29,
2008

Excitement Runs High After
Mikitenko’s Win in Berlin

 

Irina Mikitenko has gone into the
lead in the second season of the World Marathon Majors (WMM) 2007-2008 with her
victory in the real, – BERLIN MARATHON. The German now has 65 points after a
fantastic race in the German capital where she won in 2:19:19, making her the
fourth fastest female marathoner of all time and taking her into equal first
place alongside Gete Wami (Ethiopia) for the season. Mikitenko
has also taken the lead for the third WMM Series in 2008-2009 with 50 points
from two races. The 36-year-old had a surprise win in the Flora London Marathon
in April and was second in Berlin a year ago.

 

In the men‰Ûªs rankings Haile
Gebrselassie, who improved his own world record with 2:03:59 in Berlin, has moved up to
third with 50 points for the 2007-2008 season. But the Ethiopian has no chance
of winning the overall WMM title. The Kenyan Martin Lel leads with 76 points and
the only man who could overtake him is his compatriot Robert K. Cheruiyot,
depending on whether the latter wins in Chicago
or New York.
But so far he has made no announcement about running either of those races on 12
October or 2 November. Haile Gebrselassie certainly has excellent prospects for
the 2008-2009 season. He has 25 points, the same as Robert K. Cheruiyot, behind
the Kenyan pair of Sammy Wanjiru (40 points) and Martin Lel
(26).

 

The World Marathon Majors (WMM)
brings together the best big city marathon races in the world (Flora London,
Boston, real, – Berlin, Bank of America Chicago and ING New York City-Marathon)
which have put up price money of one million dollars (US) for each of the WMM
Series to be shared by the winning man and woman. A win in a WMM race is worth
25 points while fifth place earns one point. The marathon races at the World
Championships and Olympic Games are also included in the
series.

 

A really exciting contest is
developing in the women‰Ûªs competition for the second season of 2007-2008. Gete
Wami must finish second or better in New York to improve her points‰Ûª total for the
season. The Ethiopian has already taken maximum points from four races so
finishing third, fourth or fifth would not benefit her. She was second in
London in 2007, first in Berlin in 2007, second in New York in 2007 and third in London 2008.

 

There still remain the Chinese
Chunxiu Zhou and Catherine Ndereba of Kenya who, if they win in Chicago or New
York, could overhaul the rest and take the lead.
However, after winning medals in the Olympic Marathon (silver for Ndereba,
bronze for Zhou), neither has made any announcement about entering either of
these races.

 

If the women‰Ûªs competition should
finish with Mikitenko and Wami level on points, then the win-loss ratio would be
taken into account: even this would not produce a result since the Ethiopian
finished ahead of the German in Berlin a year
ago and the positions were reversed in London. At present, factors such as how many
races runners have done to achieve their points‰Ûª total, how far in front of one
another they‰Ûªve finished in terms of places or time in the relevant WMM races
are not in the WMM rules. It would be up to the race directors’ vote to decide
the winner.

 

Men’s 2007-2008 WMM Series
Leaderboard

1.
Martin Lel (KEN)                                            
                    
76 pts.

1st          
London                                  
2007                
2:07:41

1st          
New York                              
2007                
2:09:04

1st          
London                                  
2008                
2:05:15

5th          
Olympic Games                     
2008                
2:10:24

2.
Robert K. Cheruiyot (KEN)                                               
55 pts.

1st          
Boston                                  
2007                
2:14:13

4th          
Chicago                                
2007                
2:16:13

1st          
Boston                                  
2008                
2:07:46

3.
Haile Gebrselassie (ETH)                                                 
50 pts.

1st          
Berlin                                    
2007                
2:04:26

1st          
Berlin                                    
2008                
2:03:59

4.
Abderrahim Goumri (MAR)                           
                    
40 pts.

2nd         
London                                  
2007                
2:07:44

2nd         
New York                              
2007                
2:09:16

3rd          
London                                  
2008                
2:05:30

5.
Samuel Wanjiru (KEN)                                                       
40 pts.

2nd         
London                                  
2008                
2:05:24

1st          
Olympic Games                     
2008                
2:06:32

 

Women’s
2007-2008 WMM Series Leaderboard

1.
Gete Wami (ETH)                                           
                    
65 pts.

2nd         
London                                  
2007                
2:21:45

1st          
Berlin                                    
2007                
2:23:17

2nd         
New York                              
2007                
2:23:32

3rd          
London                                  
2008                
2:25:37

1.
Irina Mikitenko (GER)                                                        
65 pts.

2nd         
Berlin                                    
2007                
2:24:51

1st          
London                                  
2008                
2:24:14

1st          
Berlin                                    
2008                
2:19:19

3.
Zhou Chunxiu (CHN)                                                          
50 pts.

1st          
London                                  
2007                
2:20:38

2nd         
IAAF World Championships     2007                
2:30:45

3rd          
Olympic Games                     
2008                
2:27:07

4.
Catherine Ndereba (KEN)                                                 
41 pts.

1st          
IAAF World Championships     2007                
2:30:37

5th          
New York                              
2007                
2:29:08

2nd         
Olympic Games                     
2008                
2:27:06

5.
Constantina Tomescu-Dita (ROU)                                   
35 pts.

3rd          
London                                  
2007                
2:23:55

1st          
Olympic Games                     
2008                
2:26:44

 

Athletes are awarded points for a
top-5 finish, with 25 points for 1st, 15 for 2nd, 10 for 3rd, 5 for 4th and 1
for 5th. A maximum of four events can be counted in a two-year
period.

Courtesy of the http://www.baa.org/

Complete WMM Series leaderboards can
be found at http://www.worldmarathonmajors.com/

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