FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Stefano Baldini Returns to the ING New York City Marathon 2007
Olympic gold medalist to join impressive professional field in New York
New York/Milan, October 11, 2007—Reigning Olympic gold medalist Stefano
Baldini of Italy will add a touch of gold to an already sparkling men's
professional field at the ING New York City Marathon 2007 on Sunday,
November 4, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and
CEO and race director Mary Wittenberg.
The announcement was made at a news conference in Milan, where Baldini
appeared with the chairman of the New York Road Runners board of directors,
"New York boasts a glittering honor roll of Italian champions, including
Orlando Pizzolato, Gianni Poli, and Giacomo Leone, and we know Stefano
doesn't want his golden career to end without his name being added to that
list," Wittenberg said. "With him ride the hopes of a marathon-mad nation."
Baldini will face off against a handful of former New York champions,
including previously announced Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil (2006),
Hendrick Ramaala of South Africa (2004), and Kenyans Martin Lel (2003) and
Rodgers Rop (2002).
Baldini, 36, a proven champion, has collected five international medals,
among them the illustrious gold medal in the marathon at the 2004 Olympic
Games. Baldini pulled away from American Meb Keflezighi at the end of the
race to win the gold in Athens. He earned two bronze medals at the World
Championships Marathon (2001 and 2003) and two gold medals at the European
Championships (1998 and 2006). He holds the Italian record of 2:07:22 in
the marathon, which he set at the 2006 Flora London Marathon.
Baldini boasts a solid New York résumé, with two top-five finishes in five
previous appearances in the ING New York City Marathon. He was fifth in
2002 with his best time of 2:09:12, and third in 1997.
"I am really excited to compete again in the ING New York City Marathon,"
Baldini said. "We all know how important it is for an Italian runner to be
in the field of the most famous running event in the world. Since I did not
compete in the World Championships in Osaka, I thought about an autumn
marathon. I hope to be ready on November 4, and in good shape, to improve
upon my sixth-place finish in 2006."
The ING New York City Marathon has a guaranteed prize purse of more than
$600,000. The ING New York City Marathon 2007 will mark the final race in
the inaugural World Marathon Majors (WMM) series. The WMM series, which
also includes marathons in Boston, London, Berlin, and Chicago, showcases
the sport's top athletes and awards an unprecedented $1 million champion's