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Posted: April 26, 2009  : Add to Mixx!

Athletics: Wanjiru, Mikitenko Win Flora London Marathon and Extend Lead on World Marathon Majors 2008-09 Leaderboard

LONDON, April 26, 2009 -Olympic gold medalist Samuel Wanjiru of Kenya and Irina Mikitenko of Germany scored victories at the 2009 Flora London Marathon today to extend their leads in the 2008-09 World Marathon Majors (WMM) series. Wanjiru held off the other podium winners from last summer's Beijing Olympics, in establishing a course record and recording a personal best time of 2:05:10. For Mikitenko, her time of 2:22:11 was a comfortable 1:01 over runner-up Mara Yamauchi, of Great Britain. Wanjiru and Mikitenko now have commanding 35 point leads on their respective leaderboards.

The Flora London Marathon was the second of six races in the series. At the conclusion of the two-year series this fall, the male and female point leaders will each be awarded $500,000.

Wanjiru beat runner-up Tsegay Kebede of Ethiopia (2:05:20) by 10 seconds, while Olympic silver medalist Jaouad Gharib (MAR) was third in London in 2:05:27. Both Kebede and Gharib also set personal records on Sunday. Wanjiru led a group of men on world record pace for much of the race.

Mikitenko and Yamauchi separated themselves early in the race from a chase back, but Mikitenko's strength and experience proved to be the deciding factors as she pulled away at the 1:50:00 mark into her race. Mikitenko won the women's World Marathon Majors Series last year, and she entered London as the race's defending champion. Also the reigning real,-Berlin Marathon champion, Mikitenko now has a 35 point lead over Dire Tune (ETH), who is second place in the standings.

Behind Wanjiru (65 points), Boston's current champion Deriba Merga (30 pts.) is in second place on the 2008-‘09 World Marathon Majors leaderboard. Last year's London champion and reigning World Marathon Series champion Martin Lel is in third place (26 points). Lel was forced to withdraw from today's field prior to the start due to injury.

The top five men's and women's finishers from today's Flora London Marathon will be included on the 2008-09 WMM leaderboard, as well as joining last weekend's top finishers at the Boston Marathon in opening the 2009-10 WMM series.

WMM series points are collected for top five finishes with 25 points for first place, 15 for second, 10 for third, 5 for fourth and 1 for fifth. The WMM series features a $1 million purse with $500,000 for the men's and women's champions.

The current year's WMM series will continue this summer at the IAAF World Track & Field Championships in Berlin in August. The fall season will kick off at the real- BERLIN-MARATHON on September 20, followed by the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 11, and the series finale at the ING New York City Marathon on November 1.

For complete and updated biographies of World Marathon Marathon points leaders, go to


1. Sammy Wanjiru (KEN), 65 pts.
2. Deriba Merga (ETH), 30 pts.
3. Martin Lel (KEN), 26 pts.
4. Marilson Gomes dos Santos (BRA), 25 pts.
4. Evans Cheruiyot (KEN), 25 pts.
4. Haile Gebrselassie (ETH), 25 pts.
4. Robert K. Cheruiyot (KEN), 25 pts.
4. Daniel Rono (KEN), 25 pts.
4. Abderrahim Goumri (MAR), 25 pts.
4. Jaouad Gharib (MAR), 25 pts.
4. Tsegay Kebede (ETH), 25 pts.
12. Abderrahime Bouramdane (MAR), 16 pts.
13. James Kwambai (KEN), 15 pts.
13. David Mandago Kipkorir (KEN), 15 pts.
15. Ryan Hall (USA), 11 pts.
15. Emmanuel Mutai (KEN), 11 pts.
17. Timothy Cherigat (KEN), 10 pts.
17. Charles Kamathi (KEN), 10 pts.
17. Khalid el Boumlili (MAR), 10 pts.
20. Gashaw Melese Asfaw (ETH), 5 pts.
20. Martin Lauret (NED), 5 pts.
20. Mariko Kipchumba (KEN), 5 pts.
20. Paul Tergat (KEN), 5 pts.
24. Tekeste Kebede (ETH), 5 pts.
25. Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot (KEN), 1 pt.
25. Mesefin Adimasu (ETH), 1 pt.
25. Kasime Adillo (ETH), 1 pt.
25. Hendrick Ramaala (RSA), 1 pt.

1. Irina Mikitenko (GER), 75 pts.
2. Dire Tune (ETH), 40 pts.
3. Salina Kosgei (KEN), 30 pts.
3. Alevtina Biktimirova (RUS), 30 pts.
3. Constantina Dita (ROU), 30 pts.
6. Lidiya Grigoryeva (RUS), 25 pts.
6. Paula Radcliffe (GBR), 25 pts.
8. Kara Goucher (USA), 20 pts.
8. Svetlana Zakharova (RUS), 20 pts.
10. Catherine Ndereba (KEN), 16 pts.
10. Askale Tafa Magarsa (ETH), 16 pts.
10. Ludmila Petrova (RUS), 16 pts.
13. Rita Jeptoo (KEN), 15 pts.
13. Mara Yamauchi (GBR), 15 pts.
15. Helena Kiprop (KEN), 11 pts.
16. Chunxiu Zhou (CHN), 10 pts.
16. Gete Wami (ETH), 10 pts.
16. Kiyoko Shimahara (JPN), 10 pts.
16. Liliya Shobukova (RUS), 10 pts.
20. Bezunesh Bekele (ETH), 5 pts.
20. Rose Cheruiyot (KEN), 5 pts.
20. Xiaolin Zhu (CHN), 5 pts.
20. Jelena Prokopcuka (LAT), 5 pts.
24. Desiree Davila (USA), 1 pt.
24. Gulnara Vigovskaya (RUS), 1 pt.
24. Martha Komu (KEN), 1 pt.
24. Berhane Adere (ETH), 1 pt.

1. Deriba Merga (ETH), 25 pts.
1. Samuel Wanjiru (KEN), 25 pts.
3. Daniel Rono (KEN), 15 pts.
3. Tsegay Kebede (ETH), 15 pts.
5. Ryan Hall (USA), 10 pts.
5. Jaouad Gharib (MAR), 10 pts.
7. Tekeste Kebede (ETH), 5 pts.
7. Emmanuel Mutai (KEN), 5 pts.
9. Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot (KEN), 1 pt.
9. Hendrick Ramaala (RSA), 1 pt.

1. Salina Kosgei (KEN), 25 pts.
1. Irina Mikitenko (GER), 25 pts.
3. Dire Tune (ETH), 15 pts.
3. Mara Yamauchi (GBR), 15 pts.
5. Kara Goucher (USA), 10 pts.
5. Liliya Shobukova (RUS), 10 pts.
7. Bezunesh Bekele (ETH), 5 pts.
7. Svetlana Zakharova (RUS), 5 pts.
9. Helena Kirop (KEN), 1 pt.
9. Berhane Adere (ETH), 1 pt.

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