Gharib, Makau, Kwambai Added to Lineup of World’s Best at ING New York City Marathon 2009

10/12/2009 - 14:47

00_ingnycmarathonmed09_0.gifChristelle Daunay, Martin Fagan, Tatyana Petrova and Yuri Kano will also compete in 40th running on November 1 - NEW YORK, N.Y. - A lineup of the some of the world’s best long-distance runners, including 2008 Olympic marathon silver medalist and two-time World Marathon champion Jaouad Gharib of Morocco, two-time IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships silver medalist Patrick Makau of Kenya, and third-fastest marathoner in history James Kwambai of Kenya join one of the strongest fields in race history at the ING New York City Marathon 2009 on Sunday, November 1, 2009 it was announced by New York Road Runners president and CEO and race director Mary Wittenberg.

The stature of New York as consistently boasting the most global professional field in the sport was confirmed with the additional announcements of Christelle Daunay of France, Martin Fagan of Ireland, Tatyana Petrova of Russia and Yuri Kano of Japan.

“The world has always come to New York to run, and this year the field again includes title contenders from a host of countries,” said Wittenberg. “Jaouad, Patrick, and James add a dazzling combination of speed and experience to the race. It is also a delight to have France’s best woman, Christelle, a major coup to have Japan’s Yuri, and one of Russia’s strongest women competitors, Tatyana.”

The only man to ever win two World Championships marathon titles, Gharib, 37, will be competing in his second ING New York City Marathon. He joins a men’s field that already features two-time winner and defending champion Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil, 2004 champion Hendrick Ramaala of South Africa, 2005 champion Paul Tergat, and two-time champion Martin Lel, both of Kenya. U.S. Olympians Ryan Hall and Brian Sell also have been previously announced.

Gharib holds the Moroccan records for the half-marathon and marathon, having finished third at the London Marathon earlier this year in a Moroccan record time of 2 hour, 5 minutes, and 27 seconds.

Makau, 24, is a half-marathon specialist who won four consecutive major half-marathons in 2008 and ran the second-fastest half-marathon ever (58:52) at Ras Al Khaimah. He made his marathon debut at the Fortis Rotterdam Marathon this past spring, finishing fourth in a time of 2:06:14.

Kwambai, 26, finished second earlier this year to Duncan Kibet by less than one second at the Rotterdam Marathon in a time of 2:04:27, the third-fastest ever. In 2008, Kwambai finished second in the Berlin Marathon in 2:05:36, the seventh-fastest marathon time—the same race in which Haile Gebrselassie set a marathon world record.

Daunay, 34, set the French marathon record, 2:28:24, at Osaka in 2008. She placed 20th in the 2008 Olympic Games marathon in 2:31:48. Earlier this year, Daunay she set a personal record of 2:25:43 in Paris.

Fagan, 26, is an Irish Olympian who has had a standout year. He won the Austin Half-Marathon in Texas in January before breaking John Treacy’s long-standing Irish half-marathon record by finishing fifth in 1:00:57 at the Fortis City-Pier-City Half-Marathon in The Hague. Currently training in Flagstaff, AZ, Fagan will make his ING New York City Marathon debut.

Petrova, 26, is a known specialist in the 3000-meter steeplechase who won double silver medals in the 2006 European Athletes Championships and the 2007 World Championships in Osaka. Earlier this year, she won the Dubai Marathon in 2:25:53 in her debut at the distance.

Kano, 30, is one of Japan’s strongest competitors; she finished seventh this year at the World Championships marathon in Berlin in a time of 2:26:57. Her marathon best is 2:24:27.

Athletes will be vying for a total guaranteed prize purse of $800,000, the largest in race history. In celebration of the 40th running of the New York City Marathon, a new champion’s bonus of $70,000 will be awarded to any past champion who wins this year, bringing a former champion’s first-place prize this year to $200,000.

The premier event of New York Road Runners, the ING New York City Marathon is one of the world’s great road races, drawing nearly 105,000 applicants. The race attracts many world class professional athletes, not only for the $800,000 in prize money, but also for the chance to excel in the media capital of the world before two million cheering spectators and more than 300 million worldwide television viewers. As any one of the nearly 788,000 past participants will attest, crossing the finish line in Central Park is one of the great thrills of a lifetime. For more information, visit:

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