Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wami to defend Berlin Marathon title

by David Monti, Race Results Weekly

Three-time Olympic medalist Gete Wami will defend her title at the 34th running of the real, Berlin Marathon, race organizers announced today.

Wami, who set an Ethiopian record of 2:21:34 at Berlin last year (since surpassed by Berhane Adere), is currently sitting in second place in the 2006/2007 World Marathon Majors rankings with 40 points, 15 points behind leader Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia. Should Wami win at Berlin, she would have 65 points and would vault into the lead for the $500,000 prize to be awarded to the points series leader after November’s ING New York City Marathon, the last race in the current series.

Also announced for the Sept. 30 marathon were Japan’s Naoko Sakamoto (2:21:51 PB), Russia’s Irina Timofeyewa (2:25:29), Poland’s Grazyna Syrek (2:26:22) and Germany’s Irina Mikitenko, who will be attempting to complete her first marathon.The real, Berlin Marathon was the fifth-largest marathon in the world last year with 30,118 finishers, according to Running USA, an industry trade association. With one of the fastest courses in the world, the race is the home of the men’s world record: 2:04:55 set by Kenyan Paul Tergat in 2003.

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