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Olympic Champion Mizuki Noguchi among record number of 40,000 runners

Driss El Himer and Bong-ju Lee want to stop Kenyan win streak, Elite field released

2005-09-06

Mizuki Noguchi, Olympic Marathon Champion from Athens in 2004
© Victah Sailor

Olympic Champion Mizuki Noguchi among record number of 40,000 runners

The real,- BERLIN MARATHON is Germany’s premier road running event. It has been Germany’s biggest and best quality marathon for two decades. And regarding the founding of the Big Five the overall quality of the real,- BERLIN MARATHON should get even better in the near future. The Big Five include the BAA Boston Marathon, the Flora London Marathon, the LaSalle Banks Chicago Marathon, the ING New York City Marathon and the real,- BERLIN MARATHON.

When the athletes set off for the 32nd real,- BERLIN MARATHON on 25th September the race will boost a record field of 40,000 runners plus walkers, wheelchair athletes and handbikers. Additionally on the same day about 8,000 pupils take part in the real,- MINI-MARATHON. And on the day before another 8,000 inline skaters will participate in this separated real,- BERLIN MARATHON. Their race will be held in the afternoon in front of an expected crowd of about 250,000. More than a million spectators are expected to watch the race on Sunday. The Brandenburg Gate will once again be the spectacular background of the finish.

This year the focus will be pretty much on one athlete: Mizuki Noguchi. The Olympic Marathon Champion from Athens in 2004 will run her first marathon since her biggest triumph so far little more than a year ago. It was four years ago, when the real,- BERLIN MARATHON had an Olympic Champion in its elite field for the first time. In 2001 the gold medal winner from Sydney 2000, Naoko Takahashi, became the first woman to break 2:20 hours in Berlin, clocking 2:19:46.

During the last five years Berlin’s women’s winner has always come from Japan. But Mizuki Noguchi not only intends to continue this unique win streak. The 27 year-old wants to clearly improve her personal best of 2:21:18 from Osaka in 2003. She might well become the third women to break the 2:20 barrier in Berlin. Last year Yoko Shibui had improved Naoko Takahashi’s course record by five seconds to 2:19:41. While she had missed the Asian record of Yingjie Sun (China/2:19:39) by just two seconds this could well be in Mizuki Noguchi’s reach. Training in St. Moritz is said to have gone very well – even better than before the Olympic Games.

While Sonia O’Sullivan had to withdraw due to lack of form since her training did not go as well as she had hoped to Luminita Zaituc has to be watched. The number one German marathoner has a personal best of 2:26:01 so far. But the silver medallist from the Europeans in 2002 just needs to get the right race to clearly improve. The fast Berlin course should suit her.

There will be huge Japanese media interest in the real,- BERLIN MARATHON once again. And while the race is shown live on German TV (ARD/RBB) it will also be broadcasted live in Japan by Fuji TV.

The men’s race will not feature an Olympic Champion but at least an Olympic medallist. South Korea’s Bong-Ju Lee had been second at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. He then went on to win the BAA Boston Marathon in 2001, stopping a Kenyan win streak of ten first places in a row, and improved to 2:07:20 when he was second at the Tokyo Marathon in 2000.

As in Boston in 2001 Bong-Ju Lee will meet tough opposition from Kenya in Berlin. Kenyan runners have dominated the real,- BERLIN MARATHON in recent years. Since 1999 the winner has always been a Kenyan. And two of them will be running again: Joseph Ngolepus was the winner in 2001 while Raymond Kipkoech triumphed a year later. Additionally there will be another former winner of the BAA Boston Marathon in Berlin’s elite field: Kenyan Robert Cheruiyot had won that race in 2003. It was in the same year, when Michael Rotich had won the Paris Marathon with a course record of 2:06:33. The Kenyan will now try to win the real,- BERLIN MARATHON on 25th September. But he will not be the runner with the fastest marathon time in the field. Titus Munji had been third in the legendary world record race in the real,- BERLIN MARATHON 2003. Behind fellow Kenyans Paul Tergat (2:04:55) and Sammy Korir (2:04:56) he had clocked 2:06:15 for third place. Now Titus Munji comes back to Berlin, aiming to be number one. But former Moroccan Driss El Himer (France) could as well produce an upset for the Kenyans.

ELITE RUNNERS IN THE 32nd real,- BERLIN MARATHON

MEN

2

Titus Munji
Personal best: 2:06:15 (3rd Berlin ’03)

KEN

3

Joshua Chelanga
Personal best: 2:07:05 (3rd Berlin ’04)

KEN

4

Michael Rotich
Personal best: 2:06:33 (1st Paris ’03)

KEN

5

Raymond Kipkoech
Personal best: 2:06:47 (1st Berlin ’02)

KEN

6

Driss El Himer
Personal best: 2:06:48 (Paris ’03)

KEN

7

Bong-Ju Lee
Personal best: 2:07:20 (Tokyo ’00)

KOR

8

Joseph Ngolepus
Personal best: 2:07:57 (London ’03)

KEN

9

Jackson Koech
Personal best: 2:08:02 (Rotterdam ’05)

KEN

10

Philip Manyim
Personal best: 2:08:07 (Rom ’05)

KEN

11

Peter Chebet
Personal best: 2:08:43 (Chicago ’03)

KEN

12

Satoshi Osaki
Personal best: 2:08:46 (Tokyo ’04)

JPN

14

Paul Kiptanui
Personal best: 2:09:09 (Turin ’99)

KEN

16

Ernest Kipyego
Personal best: 2:09:55 (Eindhoven ’03)

KEN

17

Robert K. Cheruiyot
Personal best: 2:10:11 (1st Boston ’03)

KEN

18

Toshiya Katayama
Personal best: 2:10:12 (Lake Biwa ’05)

JPN

19

Stanley Leleito
Personal best: 2:10:16 (Zürich ’05)

KEN

25

Andrew Letherby
Personal best: 2:12:45 (Fukuoka ’03)

AUS

WOMEN

F2

Mizuki Noguchi
Personal best: 2:21:18 (Osaka ’03)
Olympic Champion 2004

JPN

F5

Luminita Zaituc
Personal best: 2:26:01 (Frankfurt ’01)

GER

F6

Leila Aman
Personal best: 2:27:54 (Berlin ’04)

ETH

F7

Melanie Kraus
Personal best: 2:27:58 (Berlin ’00)

GER

F9

Monika Drybulska
Personal best: 2:29:58 (Berlin ’03)

POL

F10

Annemette Jensen
Personal best: 2:30:07 (2004)

DEN

F11

Mulu Seboka
Personal best: 2:30:54 (London ’05)

ETH

F14

Tina Maria Ramos
Personal best: 2:34:05 (Rotterdam ’02)

ESP

F15

Anna Rahm
Personal best: 2:37:32 (Berlin ’04)

SWE

F16

Eva Maria Gradewohl
Personal best: 2:38:04 (Wien ’04)

AUT


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