For the second consecutive year, the World Marathon Majors Series women’s champions race will come down to the final race of the season at the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday November 2, with three women still in contention for the $500,000 champion’s purse.
Reigning WMM Series champion Gete Wami of Ethiopia (65 points), Irina Mikitenko of Germany (65 pts) and Catherine Ndereba of Kenya (41 points) are all in the hunt for the women’s title. Both Wami and Ndereba will be fighting it out on the New York streets while Mikitenko, who won the real-Berlin Marathon last month, will be watching – literally – from the sidelines and hoping that things work out her way.
Martin Lel of Kenya (76 points) clinched the men’s crown and $500,000 prize with victories at the 2007 and 2008 Flora London Marathon and last year’s ING New York City Marathon. Only last year’s WMM Series champion, Lel’s compatriot Robert K Cheruiyot (55 points) had a chance of overtaking Lel but a nagging leg injury forced him to sit out the fall season.
Lel and the women’s champion will be honored at a special luncheon in New York City on Monday, November 3, the day after the ING New York City Marathon.
The 2007-2008 women’s WMM Series champion will be won by Wami, Ndereba or Mikitenko.
- Wami holds her own destiny in her hands and can wrap up the championship for the second consecutive year, regardless of what Ndereba does, by finishing first or second in New York . Wami has already scored in the maximum four events so only by finishing first or second can she add to her point total. Wami finished second at New York last year in a tight duel with Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain , who is returning to defend her title.
- Ndereba can only win the Series crown by placing first in the ING New York City Marathon, and then hoping that Wami does not finish in second place. If that happens, Ndereba would have 66 points and would beat Wami by a single point. A victory by Ndereba in NYC would be her first ING New York City Marathon title.
- Mikitenko can only win if Wami does not finish in first or second place in the ING New York City Marathon and Ndereba also does not win the race. That would leave a tie between Mikitenko and Wami each with 65 points. The first tiebreaker is head to head and that is knotted at 1-1. Wami beat Mikitenko in Berlin 2007 and Mikitenko beat Wami in London 2008. The next and ultimate tiebreaker is a vote by the WMM race directors, which – if necessary – would be conducted immediately after the conclusion of the New York race.
Complete WMM Series leaderboards can be found at worldmarathonmajors.com.