News Archive

News Archive

World Marathon Majors Series reaches midway point with Cheruiyot und Prokopcuka atop leader board

NEW YORK (November 5, 2006) - The World Marathon Majors (WMM) leader

board saw plenty of movement following the results of today’s ING New

York City Marathon. Held in near-perfect conditions, Jelena Prokopcuka

(LAT) in the women’s race and an unexpected win by Marilson Gomes dos

Santos (BRA) on the men’s side, saw the former move to the head of the

WMM table, and the latter, install himself in a three-way tie for second

with Haile Gebrselassie (ETH) and Felix Limo (KEN).

The 2006-07 World Marathon Majors series began with the Boston and Flora

London Marathons in April, and proceeded with the real,- Berlin, The

LaSalle Bank Chicago and finally, ING New York City races. With the

inaugural year now complete, Robert K. Cheruiyot (KEN), the winner in

Boston and Chicago, retains his commanding lead by a 25-point margin,

while Prokopcuka holds a 10-point margin over Berhane Adere (ETH) and

Rita Jeptoo (KEN).

The World Marathon Majors series functions on a two-year cycle, meaning

that it will conclude with the 2007 ING New York City Marathon, at which

time the leading man and woman will take an equal share of a $1,000,000

prize purse. Thereafter the two-year WMM seasons will overlap, meaning

that they will run as follows: 2007/2008; 2008/2009; 2009/2010, etc.,

with the prize money awarded at the end of each year.

The top five male and female finishers received World Marathon Majors

points, with 25 for first, 15 for second, 10 for third, five for fourth

and one for fifth. Added to the 15 she earned in Boston, Prokopcuka,

thus claimed the place at the top of the World Marathon Majors leader

board at the conclusion of the series’ first year. Of the others among

ING New York City’s top five, only Jeptoo, the winner in Boston - ahead

of Prokopcuka - already appeared in the World Marathon Majors standings.

The five points she accumulated here boosted her overall total to 30

points, placing her in equal second position with Adere.

“I didn’t know what was going on,” commented Prokopcuka of her early

charge with Luminita Talpos. “I knew that when Hladyr would be still

with me on the last hill I could beat her. I am now thinking of running

in London for a better time. And I would, of course, like to come back

to New York next year.”

Dos Santos had placed sixth in The LaSalle Bank Chicago race in 2004 and

10th in the Helsinki World Championships of 2005, but nobody would have

taken a bet on him beating defending Champion and world record holder

Paul Tergat (KEN), 2005 ING New York runner-up Hendrick Ramaala (RSA),

Olympic champion Stefano Baldini (ITA), Olympic silver medalist Meb

Keflezhigi (USA) or any of the host of other proven contenders who

packed the 2006 ING New York City field.

Dos Santos crossed the line in 2:09:58, with Stephen Kiagora (KEN) at

2:10:06 and Tergat at 2:10:10. Daniel Yego (KEN) placed fourth in

2:10:34, with Rodgers Rop (KEN), claiming the last of the World Marathon

Majors points, fifth in 2:11:24.

“For me it wasn't a surprise,” asserted dos Santos, who runs for the

same club as Olympic bronze medalist, Vanderlei de Lima. “To win a

marathon you have to have courage, and today I had courage. In the

marathon, you don't joke around. There were some top runners here, but I

was one of them. I wanted to control my pace to make sure I had

something left for the last part of the race. I feel now that I'm one of

the top guys, and I'm ready to run in any major marathon."

Of the leading men, it was Ramaala who stood to gain the most with a

top-five finish. Having placed third in London, he had already amassed

10 points. A win here would not only have avenged his 0.3 second loss to

Tergat last year, it would also have moved him into a comfortable WMM

second-place position behind the 50-point leader, Robert K. Cheruiyot

(KEN). Ramaala, however, placed ninth (2:13:04) in New York, out of the

scoring positions.

Dos Santos’ win, in contrast, placed an entirely new and unexpected name

among the WMM contenders. The 25 points he earned installs him in second

place, aside the Flora London and real,- Berlin winners, Felix Limo

(KEN) and Haile Gebrselassie (ETH). Further down the standings, the New

York results also move Kiogora, Tergat, Yego and Rop onto the leader

board for the first time.

At the mid-way point of the 2006-07 World Marathon Majors series, the

standings are as follows:



1. Robert K. Cheruiyot, KEN