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Posted: November 3, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: Wanjiru, Mikitenko claim titles of 2008-2009 World Marathon Majors series

NEW YORK, November 2, 2009 - Samuel Wanjiru, of Kenya, and Irina Mikitenko, of Germany, are the winners of the 2008-'09 World Marathon Majors series, and both were presented with $500,000 USD for their respective accomplishment at an award ceremony today in New York. Wanjiru collected 90 points over the two-year series, winning at the 2008 Olympics, as well as at London and Chicago in 2009. He was also runner-up at London in 2008. Similarly, Mikitenko won three major marathons and finished second place in another during the last two years; she won at London in both 2008 and 2009, was victorious at Berlin in 2008, and was runner-up at Chicago last month. Mikitenko also won the 2007-'08 WMM series.

In the series, the world's top runners score points for winning and top placings at the five events which comprise the World Marathon Majors: Virgin London Marathon, Boston Marathon, real,-Berlin Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and ING New York City Marathon. (In years in which the Olympic Games and IAAF World Championships are contested, those marathons also count in the point totals.)

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.

Winners of the World Marathon Majors series:

WMM series Men Women
2006-2007 Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, KEN Gete Wami, ETH
2007-2008 Martin Lel, KEN Irina Mikitenko, GER
2008-2009 Samuel Wanjiru, KEN Irina Mikitenko, GER

2008-2009 Men's Final Leader Board
1. Samuel Wanjiru (KEN) 90 pts.
2. Haile Gebrselassie (ETH) 50 pts.
3. Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot (KEN) 41 pts.
4. Abderrahim Goumri (MAR) 40 pts.
5. Tsegaye Kebede (ETH) 35 pts.
5. Jaouad Gharib (MAR) 35 pts.

2008-2009 Women's Final Leader Board
1. Irina Mikitenko (GER) 90 pts.
2. Dire Tune (ETH) 40 pts.
3. Liliya Shobukhova (RUS) 35 pts.
3. Lidiya Grigoryeva (RUS) 35 pts.
5. Ludmila Petrova (RUS) 31 pts.
5. Salina Kosgei (KEN) 31 pts.

To view biographies of Wanjiru, Mikitenko and the world's other top marathoners, as well as leader boards for the 2008-2009 series and the 2009-2010 series, which is now halfway to completion, go to

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