Top Marathoners Set Sights on Olympic Glory and World Marathon Majors Points

08/05/2008 - 09:48

LelFVLondon08.jpg August 5, 2008 from press release (file photo Martin Lel) / When the world's top marathon runners take to the streets of Beijing later this month at the Olympic Games they will be competing for more than gold, silver and bronze. For the first time since the launch of the World Marathon Majors Series in 2006, the Olympic Games will be counted in the scoring.

The World Marathon Majors Series consists of the Boston Marathon, Flora London Marathon, real,-Berlin-Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and ING New York City Marathon. The IAAF World Championships Marathon and Olympic Games Marathon are also included in the scoring on the years in which they are contested. Scoring takes place over a two-year period, with points awarded for a top-5 finish.
The women's 2007-2008 leaderboard remains tightly packed, and with as many as six of the top nine women expected to race in Beijing, the Olympic Games could play a deciding role in the Series. Defending WMM champion Gete Wami holds the lead with 65 points, however she has already registered four scoring races in 2007-2008 (a maximum of an athlete's four best scores are counted in the final standings), and will only be able to improve upon her total with a gold or silver medal. Should she falter, hometown favorite Chunxiu Zhou of China, second with 40 points, could gain ground.

Three men remain in contention for the 2007-2008 WMM Series title, and each will be racing in Beijing. Martin Lel (75 points) currently leads 2006-2007 WMM Series champ Robert Cheruiyot (55 points) and Abderrahim Goumri (40 points). A gold medal for Lel would clinch the 2007-2008 WMM crown -- and the accompanying $500,000 prize -- with a perfect score of 100 points. Should Lel fall short and Cheruiyot or Goumri medal, then the WMM Series title could come down to one of the fall events.

The women's Olympic Marathon is scheduled for August 17, while the men's marathon will be run on August 24, the final day of the Games. Following the Olympic Games, the real,-BERLIN-MARATHON will be held on September 28, Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 12, and ING New York City Marathon on November 2. The 2007-2008 WMM Series Champions will be crowned at a luncheon in New York on November 3.

MEN'S 2007-2008 WMM Series Leaderboard
* 1. Martin Lel (KEN) 75 pts.
1st New York 2007 2:09:04
1st London 2007 2:07:41
1st London 2008 2:05:15
* 2. Robert K. Cheruiyot (KEN) 55 pts.
* 3. Abderrahim Goumri (MAR) 40 pts.
4. Haile Gebrselassie (ETH) 25 pts.
4. Luke Kibet (KEN) 25 pts.
4. Patrick Ivuti (KEN) 25 pts.

* = athlete is expected to compete in the Olympic Marathon .

WOMEN'S 2007-2008 WMM Series Leaderboard
* 1. Gete Wami (ETH) 65 pts.
2nd New York 2007 2:23:32
1st Berlin 2007 2:23:17
2nd London 2007 2:21:45
3rd London 2008 2:25:37
* 2. Chunxiu Zhou (CHN) 40 pts.
2. Irina Mikitenko (GER) 40 pts.
4. Lidiya Grigoryeva (RUS) 30 pts.
4. Jelena Prokopcuka (LAT) 30 pts.
* 6. Catherine Ndereba (KEN) 26 pts.
* 7. Dire Tune (ETH) 25 pts.
* 7. Paula Radcliffe (GBR) 25 pts.
* 7. Berhane Adere (ETH) 25 pts.

* = athlete is expected to compete in the Olympic Marathon.

Complete 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 WMM Series leaderboards can be found at

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