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Olympic Games WMM preview


Emmanuel Mutai

Emmanuel Mutai

August 5th welcomes the Women’s Olympic Marathon to the 2012 London Olympic Games, and one week later on Sunday, August 12th the Men’s Olympic Marathon will take place.  There are key points to be earned in the World Marathon Majors Series for 2011-2012.

In November the top Woman and top Man Marathoners in the WMM Series will each earn $500,000 based on their points’ total.

The Olympic Marathon Course was designed by David Bedford (former 10,000m world record holder, and former London Marathon race director) and consists of a 2.2 Mile loop, followed by three 8 Mile loops. The start and finish are in The Mall with the spectacular and iconic backdrop of Buckingham Palace,  Out on the course loops, the race passes just about every major London landmark, and is a travelogue of the city.  There are many twists and turns, with uphills and downhills, so that course knowledge is essential for this technical but fast course.  Local experts believe the Olympic Marathon Records could be challenged on this course.

WHO TO LOOK FOR – Surely a race to whet the appetite of the true marathon fan!   Mary Keitany (Kenya),  winner of the Virgin London Marathon in 2011 and 2012,  versus Liliya Shobukhova (Russia) World Marathon Majors Champion in the 2009-2010 WMM Series and the 2010-2011 WMM Series, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon Champion in 2010 and 2011, and the Virgin London Marathon Champion in 2010, versus Edna Kiplagat (Kenya), the 2011 IAAF World Champion.  Three of the top four  in the current WMM  Standings.  Can anyone try to challenge this trio for a medal? Maybe Tiki Gelana (Ethiopia) winner of the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon in a National Record, 2:18:58, or Shalane Flanagan (USA) or  – will someone come out of  nowhere like Romania’s Constantina Dita in Beijing in 2008?

Of the top ten currently on the WMM 2011-2012 Points Scoring Chart, only three athletes are racing in the Olympic Marathon (Kenya’s trio of Wilson Kipsang, Abel Kirui and Emmanuel Mutai), so we could see a huge change in the WMM standings prior to the Fall 2012 races at the BMW  Berlin Marathon on September  30th, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 7th, and the Series ending race on November 4th at the ING New York City Marathon.

WHO TO LOOK FOR – Can anyone beat the three Kenyans: Wilson Kipsang, the 2012 Virgin London Marathon Champion, Abel Kirui, two time IAAF World Champion in 2009 and 2011, and Emmanuel Mutai, 2011 Virgin London Marathon Champion, and 2010-2011 World Marathon Majors Champion?   Surely all three Kenyans cannot have an off day. Ethiopia will be hoping they can produce a medal from Ayele Abshero, Getu Feleke, or Dino Sefir.    It is difficult to see anyone else challenging for a medal.   But of course that is why we hold the race!!

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