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Posted: April 24, 2009  : Add to Mixx!

Athletics: Keflezighi, Ritzenhein, O'Neill look for fast times at London Marathon

INDIANAPOLIS - Olympic silver medalist Meb Keflezighi (San Diego, Calif.) will join fellow U.S. Olympians Dathan Ritzenhein (Portland, Ore.) and Kate O'Neill (Palo Alto, Calif.) at the Flora London Marathon this Sunday in London, England.

Keflezighi and Ritzenhein will face a loaded men's field that includes Olympic champion Sammy Wanjiru of Kenya as well as Jaouad Gharib of Morocco and Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia, the respective silver and bronze medalists from the Olympic marathon.

In addition to the three medalists from Beijing, this year's race will see the much anticipated marathon debut of Eritrean Zersenay Tadese, the 2007 World Cross Country champion.

With favorable conditions on Sunday, Wanjiru has hopes of lowering the current world record of 2:03:59 set by Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie in Berlin last year.

While world record pace isn't in the race plan for Keflezighi or Ritzenhein, both said during a conference call from London that they will be working together to run 2:07:30. "The goal is to get a fast time and if we can help each other that would be great," said Keflezighi, who won this year's USA Half Marathon Championship, finishing ten seconds ahead of Ritzenhein.

Additionally, if Keflezighi meets his time goal, he will secure a spot on the Team USA marathon squad for this summer's IAAF World Championships in Berlin.

The women's field features Olympic champion Constantina Dita of Romania as well as silver medalist Catherine Ndereba of Kenya. O'Neill is the top entrant for U.S. women and will be looking to lower her personal best of 2:34:04.

Universal Sports will offer live online coverage of the 2009 Flora London Marathon starting at 4 a.m. ET this Sunday.

Universal Sports is the broadcast home to the World Marathon Majors (WMM) which include the Boston Marathon, London Marathon, Berlin Marathon, Chicago Marathon, and will conclude with the New York City Marathon in November.

More information, as well as highlights, full-length videos, photos, breaking news and more available at

About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.

For more information on USATF, visit

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