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Posted: August 6, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: Defending World Marathon Majors Champion Irina Mikitenko, of Germany, Headlines Women's World Championship Race

Top Marathoners in Berlin will score in 2008-2009 Series

Irina Mikitenko (GER) can wrap up her second consecutive World Marathon Majors Series crown, the $500,000 first place prize and a spot in the history books with a victory before her home fans at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin later this month.

By winning the IAAF World Championships title, Mikitenko would join only Britain's Paula Radcliffe (2005) and the legendary Grete Waitz (1983), of Norway, as the only women to win both at London and the World Championships in the same year.

Mikitenko is the defending World Marathon Majors champion, having won the 2007-2008 series and sits atop the current (2008-2009) leader board. She leads Dire Tune (ETH) by 35 points and Alevtina Biktimirova (RUS) by 45 points. Both Tune and Biktimirova also are scheduled to race the World Championship Marathon, but with 75 points already, another Mikitenko victory would make it impossible for another woman to catch her. Other women on the entrant list who can move into contention with a top performance in Berlin are Kara Goucher (USA) and Svetlana Zakharova (RUS).

Samuel Wanjiru (KEN), who leads the 2008-2009 men's series will not race at the World Championships in Berlin but already has announced he will seek victory and a new personal best at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 11. Boston's reigning champion, Deriba Merga (ETH), who trails Wanjiru by 35 points can close the gap on Wanjiru with a victory in the German capital. He is entered in the men's race, along with countryman Tsegaye Kebede, who trails Wanjiru by 40 points. Two-time ING New York City Marathon champion Marilson Gomes dos Santos (BRA) and former Boston and Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot (KEN) are among Merga's top challengers and who remain within striking distance of Wanjiru. With a victory, Merga, who won Boston in April, would become the first man to win Boston and the World Championships in the same year.

Held on the last weekend of the World Championships, the men's marathon starts at 11:45 a.m. local time in Berlin on Saturday, August 22 and the women's race starts at 11:15 a.m. local time on Sunday, August 23.

The defending IAAF World Champions from Osaka in 2007 are Catherine Ndereba (KEN) and Luke Kibet (KEN).

Mikitenko is the two-time defending Virgin London Marathon champion, as well as the real,-Berlin Marathon champion. Both London and Berlin are among the five World Marathon Majors events in which athletes can score points. The others are Boston, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the ING New York City Marathon. For series scoring, athletes also can earn points at the IAAF World Championship Marathons and Olympic Marathons. Last fall, the WMM Series women's race came down to the final day of the season at the ING New York City Marathon in November before Irina Mikitenko of Germany claimed the $500,000 prize.

The World Marathon Majors series is proving popular with more than the elites. While the five mass participatory city races draw in excess of 300,000 entrants each year, a growing swell of recreational runners aspire to compete in all five events.

For the World Marathon Majors Series scoring system and early staring fields of the fall World Marathon races, go to:

Aug. 22-23 IAAF World Track & Field Champ. (Berlin, Germany)
Sept. 20 real,- BERLIN-MARATHON
Oct. 11 Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Nov. 1 ING New York City Marathon

April 19 Boston Marathon
April 25 Virgin London Marathon
Sept. 26 real,- BERLIN-MARATHON
Oct. 10 Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Nov. 7 ING New York City Marathon

1. Samuel Wanjiru (KEN) 65 pts.
2nd London 2008 2:05:24 15 pts.
1st Olympic Games 2008 2:06:32 25 pts.
1st London 2009 2:05:10 25 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.
1st London 2008 2:24:14 25 pts.
1st Berlin 2008 2:19:19 25 pts.
1st London 2009 2:22:11 25 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.

Points are awarded on the following scale: 1st = 25; 2nd = 15; 3rd = 10; 4th = 5; 5th = 1

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

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