Hunt on for WMM cash: Kenya dominate quest for Marathon Majors jackpot
By JONATHAN KOMEN
Geoffrey Mutai leads other elite runners during the London Marathon on Sunday. Wilson Kipsang (not in picture) won the race. [PHOTO: FILE/STANDARD]
Kenya’s superlative showing at the London Marathon improved their ranking on the World Marathon Major (WMM) leaderboard.
The athletes will travel back home from London with varied expectations as focus shifts to Monday’s Boston Marathon, which will tilt the WMM standings.
Performances in six major marathons — Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York — alongside results from IAAF World Championships and Olympic Games marathons count towards the Sh86 million ($1 million) jackpot shared among men and women winners.
World marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang moved to second place with 51 points behind reigning champ Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia, who tops with 55 points.
Chicago Marathon winner Dennis Kimetto, who is keen to collect points in Boston on Monday, is third with 50 points.
The 20-year-old Kimetto, who basks in an impressive 2:03.45 personal best set in the Chicago Marathon last year, needs to be at his best to counter Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa (2:04.45), who is fourth with 40 points.
Emmanuel Mutai, the 2011/2012 WMM series winner, lies in fifth with 30 points as Dickson Chumba, Uganda’s golden boy Stephen Kiprotich and Geoffrey Mutai, the 2012/2013 WMM series winner, tie in sixth place with 25 points.
Sammy Kitwara, Michael Kipyego and Micah Kogo (2:06.56) are ranked 10th with 20 points while Stanley Biwott (2:04.55) and Eliud Kipchoge, second placed in the Berlin Marathon last year, lie in 13th and 14th places with 16 and 15 points respectively.
Kogo, better known as ‘Civilian’ in athletic circles, will be out to amasse more points when he lines up against a star-studded field in the world’s oldest marathon run on Monday.
Bernard Kipyego and World Half Marathon king Geoffrey Kipsang, who train together with Geoffrey Mutai in Kaptagat, are tied in 16th place with 10 points apiece.
Victory in the English capital on Sunday saw two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat ascend to the women’s WMM series leaderboard with 65 points in a 1-2-3-4 lead for Kenya.
Edna atoned for her narrow loss of the big prize purse in 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 series, losing it all to two-time London Marathon winner Mary Keitany and Prisca Jeptoo respectively.
Jeptoo, who was crowned the WMM 2012/2013 series title holder after a win in the New York Marathon last year, trails after Rita Jeptoo in the second spot with 50 points. Rita will defend her crown on Monday. Florence Kiplagat, second placed in London, is in fourth place with 40 points ahead of Ethiopia’s Tirfi Tsegaye and Aberu Kebede, who tie in fifth place with 26 points each. — [email protected]
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