Abbott World Marathon Majors Victors Announced

By David Monti, @d9monti

(c) 2016 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
(Used with permission)

— After the conclusion of today’s Tokyo Marathon, officials of the
Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbottWMM) declared that Kenyans Eliud
Kipchoge and Mary Keitany were the overall champions of that global
marathon league’s Series IX, and each would receive a USD 500,000
prize. Series IX began with the 2015 Tokyo Marathon last February and
ended at the same event today, the first time a 13-month scoring system
was used by AbbottWMM, replacing the previous overlapping two-year
scoring system.

Kipchoge, who won both the Virgin Money London
and BMW Berlin Marathons in 2015, had a perfect score of 50 points and
was the outright winner. Compatriot Dickson Chumba, last October’s Bank
of America Chicago Marathon champion, had a chance to tie Kipchoge in
Tokyo today, but finished third and out of contention. Kipchoge ran
only ran two marathons during Series IX (a maximum of two races are
permitted for scoring), and clocked 2:04:42 in London and 2:04:00 in
Berlin. Each victory was worth 25 points.

Keitany, who finished
second at London and won the TCS New York City Marathon last November,
ended the series in a three-way tie with world champion Mare Dibaba of
Ethiopia and today’s Tokyo champion and new course record-holder Helah
Kiprop of Kenya. Each woman scored 41 points based on their best two
finishes. Kiprop was eliminated from contention for the Series IX title
in the first of two tie-breakers (head-to-head record) because she had
been beaten by Dibaba at last August’s IAAF World Championships where
she finished second. Keitany and Dibaba were still tied after the
second tie-breaker, number of victories, because each had one. That
left the race directors of the six races to vote on whether Keitany or
Dibaba was most deserving, and they selected Keitany based on the
overall strength of the fields they faced as determined by the number
of total AbbottWMM points earned by their competitors in the respective

Interestingly, Dibaba also won the Xiamen Marathon in
China in January, 2015, but that event is not part of the series and
that result was not considered.

Also honored today in Tokyo
were citizen runners David Mark, of Chicago, Ill., and Barbara
Fleming-Ovens, of Cranfield, Ireland, who finished the Tokyo Marathon
to become AbbottWMM Six Star Finishers. They represented the almost 600
runners from all over the world who have completed all six of the
AbbottWMM marathons, and they were the first to receive the new medals
that are now available to all Six Star Finishers.

“This year
we’ve demonstrated our commitment to championing the sport, supporting
the elite runners who prove that marathoners are among the world’s
greatest athletes, and celebrating the 250,000 runners who every year
join us on our iconic courses,” said AbbottWMM general manager Tim
Hadzima in a statement. “Congratulations to Eliud, Mary, David, Barbara
and all our Six Star Finishers, and we look forward to the beginning of
Abbott World Marathon Majors Series X and the new Wheelchair Series in
Boston in April.”

AbbottWMM Series X begins on Monday, April
18, with the Boston Marathon. The remaining series stops will be the
Virgin Money London Marathon on April 24; the women’s and men’s Olympic
Games Marathons on August 14 and 21, respectively; the BMW Berlin
Marathon on September 25; the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on
October 9; the TCS New York City Marathon on November 6; the 2017 Tokyo
Marathon on February 26; then the 2017 Boston Marathon on April 17.
There will also be, for the first time, an Abbott World Marathon Majors
Wheelchair Series which also starts and finishes in Boston.

Officials of the Abbott World Marathon Majors pose with Series IX
champions Mary Keitany and Eliud Kipchoge after the 2016 Tokyo
Marathon. From left to right: Tim Hadzima, AbbottWMM general manager;
Carey Pinkowski, executive director, Bank of America Chicago Marathon;
Mary Keitany; Eliud Kipchoge; Peter Ciaccia, President of Events, and
race director, TCS New York City Marathon; Nick Bitel, chief executive,
Virgin Money London Marathon; Mark Milde, race director, BMW Berlin
Marathon; Tom Grilk, executive director, Boston Athletic Association

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