Home >> National News >> Ryan Hall, Moses Mosop on Tap for Chicago

Ryan Hall, Moses Mosop on Tap for Chicago

National Record Holders and Olympic Hopefuls Deepen International Elite Field
for 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon

2011
Bank of America Chicago Marathon Selected as Paralympic Qualifying Race
for U.S. Athletes; Champions Amanda McGrory and Heinz Frei Return to
Defend Wheelchair Titles

CHICAGO‰ÛÓThe Bank of America Chicago Marathon today
announced a diverse group of international athletes‰ÛÓincluding several
national record holders‰ÛÓwho will match strides against Russia‰Ûªs Liliya
Shobukhova, America‰Ûªs Ryan Hall, and Kenya‰Ûªs Moses Mosop on the flat
and fast streets of Chicago on October 9.
 
With the 2012 Olympic and
Paralympic Games less than a year away, the 34th annual Bank of America
Chicago Marathon continues to shape up as a pivotal world-class
competition for athletes vying for Olympic team berths. This includes
an exclusive opportunity for American wheelchair racers to compete for
four (top two men and women) automatic qualifying spots for the 2012
U.S. Paralympic Team.‰ÛÏThis year‰Ûªs elite field is one of the most
internationally diverse and talented that we have ever hosted at the
Bank of America Chicago Marathon, with the top athletes in the world
hailing from six continents‰ÛÓNorth America, South America, Europe, Asia,
Africa and Australia,‰Û said Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski.
‰ÛÏThe competitive atmosphere on October 9 will be like that of the
Olympic Games‰ÛÓa true celebration of the global nature of the sport and
a thrill for the residents and sports fans of our diverse city.‰Û
 


Bidding
for her third straight Bank of America Chicago Marathon title,
Shobukhova, the Russian record holder in the marathon, will face
perhaps her fiercest competition from Kayoko Fukushi, the Japanese
recorder holder in the 3,000 meters (8:44.40), 5,000 meters (14:53.22)
and half-marathon (1:07:26), who will be looking to add the national
marathon record to her impressive list of accomplishments. Fukushi, a
two-time Olympian, struggled in her highly anticipated marathon debut
at Osaka in 2008, but aims to fulfill her marathon promise in her
second attempt at the distance.

‰ÛÏAt this year’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon, I want to challenge
the 2:20 mark, and also test my own abilities in the marathon and what
the distance involves,‰Û said Fukushi. ‰ÛÏRacing in Chicago is the start
of my preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games Marathon in London.”

Christelle
Daunay, who set the French record (2:24:22) with her runner-up
performance at the 2010 Paris Marathon, and Benita Willis, who set the
Australian record (2:22:36) with her third-place finish at the 2006
Chicago Marathon, will also factor heavily into the mix. Both athletes
will be looking to make a statement at the Bank of America Chicago
Marathon as they prepare for next summer‰Ûªs Olympic Marathon.

Finish times, not just placement, are of the essence for the Russian
contingent that, in addition to Shobukhova, includes Inga Abitova,
runner-up at the 2010 Virgin London Marathon, and Maria Konovalova,
third-place finisher at last year‰Ûªs Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
The Russian Olympic Federation will select its Olympic Marathon team
based on the two fastest times run by Russian athletes between
September 1 and December 31, 2011.

China‰Ûªs Wei Yanan, the two-time Seoul Marathon champion, and Yue Cao, were also added to the women‰Ûªs elite field.

The men‰Ûªs competition will be far from a two-person race
between Hall, the American record holder in the half-marathon (59:43),
and Mosop, Kenya‰Ûªs second fastest marathoner (2:03:06). Brazil‰Ûªs
Marilson Dos Santos, the two-time ING New York City Marathon champion
(2006 and 2008) and national record holder in the half-marathon
(59:33), returns to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon for the first
time since finishing sixth in 2004 with his eye on Ronaldo Da Costa‰Ûªs
Brazilian and South American record of 2:06:05. Japan‰Ûªs Atsushi Sato,
the national record holder in the half marathon (1:00:25), will attempt
to break the Japanese marathon record of 2:06:16, which was set on the
same course by Toshinari Takaoka at the 2002 Chicago Marathon.

In addition to Sato, the men‰Ûªs field welcomes a group of
Japanese athletes looking to make a positive impression on their
nation‰Ûªs Olympic selection committee in the run-up to the 2012 Games,
including Takayuki Matsumiya (2:10:04), Takashi Horiguchi (2:12:05),
Kouji Gokaya (2:12:07), Hironori Arai (2:12:17), Masaki Shimoju
(2:12:18) and Yuuki Moriwaki (2:13:34). Similarly, Columbia‰Ûªs Jason
Gutierrez (2:13:24) and Diego Colorado (2:16:45) have chosen the Bank
of America Chicago Marathon to post Olympic qualifying performances‰ÛÓand
perhaps challenge their country‰Ûªs national mark of 2:11:17 set by
Carlos Grisales at the 1996 Boston Marathon.

In the elite wheelchair
competition, the 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon was selected by
the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) ‰ÛÒ Paralympic Division to
serve as an automatic qualifier for the 2012 Paralympic Games. The top
two American finishers (male and female) with the National Team ‰ÛÏA‰Û
Standard will represent Team USA in London next summer. The Bank of
America Chicago Marathon is the only marathon in the country selected
to guarantee placement on the U.S. Paralympic Track & Field Team
this year‰ÛÓand the first ever to be so designated.

The
wheelchair race will feature defending champions Amanda McGrory of the
U.S. and Heinz Frei of Switzerland. McGrory, who is based out of
Champaign, Ill., and represents the University of Illinois racing team,
is aiming for her fourth victory in the last five years. Her only
defeat came in 2009 at the hands of her U of I teammate, Tatyana
McFadden, who will be on the start line again this year, along with
Canada‰Ûªs Diane Roy and Australia‰Ûªs Christie Dawes, the second and fifth
place finishers, respectively, at the 2009 Bank of America Chicago
Marathon.

Frei, in his first appearance at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon,
sped to a course record of 1:26:56 last year, breaking the
three-year-old mark held by Australia‰Ûªs Kurt Fearnly, who missed the
2010 competition after earning three consecutive victories from
2007-2009. This year‰Ûªs race will be a highly anticipated showdown
between the two champions, with the course record once again in
jeopardy.

Check Also

Team King Kong Crushes RIMAConn (Relay)

Excuse the editorial license as the team that crushed the 95-mile, 18-leg RIMAConn Relay on …

Leave a Reply

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
X