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By David Monti, Race Results Weekly
NEW YORK (18-Sep) — Three of the six London Olympic Marathon medalists will compete at the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 4, organizers announced here today. Tiki Gelana (gold medal), Tatyana Arkhipova (bronze) and Wilson Kipsang (bronze) will be joined by reigning world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat, reigning Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion Moses Mosop, reigning Boston Marathon champion Sharon Cherop, and reigning ING New York City Marathon champion Firehiwot Dado in one of the event’s strongest-ever elite fields.
The Road Runners also said that 2010 New York champion Gebre Gebremariam would also be in the field.
“We have a star-studded field for the 2012 ING New York City Marathon headlined by a remarkable roster of World Marathon Major champions,” said race director Mary Wittenberg, the president and CEO of New York Road Runners, through a press release. “It will be a race of strategy and intrigue as Edna Kiplagat and Sharon Cherop go for the New York title while running a race within the race for greatest women’s marathon of this WMM Series.”
Kiplagat and Cherop will be battling for the $500,000 World Marathons Majors 2011/2012 points title which will be decided in New York. Reigning Virgin London Marathon champion Mary Keitany –who had planned to run New York but withdrew only yesterday with a leg injury– is leading the points chase with 65 points, while Kiplagat is in second with 50 and Cherop in third with 45. Since the race winner will garner 25 points, a victory by either Kiplagat or Cherop in New York will guarantee her the points title and half a million dollars.
Kiplagat, who was amongst the leaders in the Olympic Marathon but faded badly late in the race to finish 20th, is very motivated to compete, she said. Her fitness is excellent: she just set a personal best 1:07:41 at the Great North Run half-marathon in Newcastle last Sunday.
“I’ve always loved running on the streets of New York, so I was really disappointed last year to miss the ING New York City Marathon because of the knee injury from my terrible fall at the World Championships,” said Kiplagat through a statement provided by the New York Road Runners. “I am, of course, very, very happy to be invited back to NYC this year, and will be doing my best to try to win the race again.”
Meanwhile, in Milan, Italy, today, organizers also announced that Italian record holder Valeria Straneo would make her New York debut. Straneo finished eighth in the Olympic Marathon.
“My goal is to get among the top five,” Straneo told reporters at a press conference today. ”I always hoped to do New York.”
The ING New York City Marathon is the world’s largest. Last year, organizers recorded 46,795 finishers, the largest marathon ever.
(c) 2012 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved, used with permission