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KENYANS CUT ABOVE THE REST: Keitany, Kipchoge lead WMM series

ATHLETICS By Jonathan Komen | November 4th 2015
Mary Keitany, Aselefech Mergia and Tigist Tufa laugh together after finishing the women's division of the 2015 New York City Marathon in New York's Central Park

After the good showing at the New York City Marathon on Sunday night, focus now shifts to the 2016 Tokyo Marathon in March – the final stop of the 2015/2016 World Marathon Majors (WMM) series.

The New York Marathon stars will return home with heads held high, plotting on posting impressive shows in the 2016 big city spring marathons –Tokyo, Boston and London –to convince Athletics Kenya into drafting them in the Rio Olympic Games marathon squad.

Charles Koech, the husband of Mary Keitany, confirmed that Keitany was due arrive home yesterday.

“We congratulate her, Stanley Biwott and all the other Kenyans who competed in New York. Mary will compete in one of the World Majors Marathon in April. That will decide her intentions of making the Olympic team,” said Koech.

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 $1million (approximately Sh102m) jackpot shared among men and women winners.

AK has pegged its Olympic marathon qualification on the performance and results achieved in 2015-2016 WMM series and athletes will be assessed based on Tokyo Marathon 2015/2016, London Marathon 2015/2016, Berlin Marathon 2015, Chicago Marathon 2015, New York Marathon 2015 and any other marathon in 2015 and not later than April 30, 2016.

Keitany, winner in New York and runner-up in London, tops the leader with 41 points while Eliud Kipchoge, winner in London and Berlin, tops the men’s charts with 50 points.

Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba, a runner up in Boston and winner in Beijing worlds, ties in top spot with Keitany as Birhane Dibaba and Tigist Tufa lie in third spot with 34 points.

Helah Kiprop, the world marathon silver medalist, stands in fifth place with 32 points ahead of Chicago Marathon winner Florence Kiplagat (26), Berlin Marathon winner Gladys Cherono (25), Boston Marathon winner Caroline Rotich (25) and Aselefech Mergia with 20 points.

Kipchoge, who has won four of his five marathons, has announced his intentions of making the Olympic marathon team and he only needs to finish second in Tokyo to crown the WMM jackpot.

Lelisa Desisa, winner in Boston, tie in second position with Dickson Chumba, the Chicago Marathon winner, with 34 points.

Yemane Tsegaye, silver medalist in Beijing, lies fourth with 32 points ahead of Stanley Biwott, who has amassed 29 points. Wilson Kipsang lies eighth with 20 points.

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