FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Former Champions Tergat, Ramaala, Gomes dos Santos Return
to ING New York City Marathon
Stellar field also includes Ndereba, Loroupe, Chepchumba, Goumri, Jeptoo,
Petrova and top wheelchair athletes in the 39th running of the famed
five-borough classic on November 2
NEW YORK - (October 2, 2008) - A trio of former champions - Paul Tergat of
Kenya, Hendrick Ramaala of South Africa and Marilson Gomes dos Santos of
Brazil - along with two-time Olympic silver medal winner Catherine Ndereba
of Kenya, were announced by New York Road Runners president and CEO and
race director Mary Wittenberg as the field for the ING New York City
Marathon 2008 on Sunday, November 2 was finalized.
Tergat captured the 2005 crown in the closest finish in race history when
he out sprinted Ramaala, the 2004 winner, to win by three tenths of a
second. Gomes, 31, made race history by surprising a stellar field,
including Tergat and Ramaala, in 2006 to become the first South American
winner and a hero in his home country.
Also announced were former champions Tegla Loroupe of Kenya (1994, 1995),
2002 champion Joyce Chepchumba of Kenya, and 40-year-old Ludmila Petrova,
who will be competing in her eighth New York City Marathon after becoming
the first Russian woman to win the New York race in 2000.
The 2006 Boston Marathon champion, Rita Jeptoo of Kenya, and race runner-up
from last year, Abderrahim Goumri of Morocco, will also join the stacked
These athletes join the previously announced Paula Radcliffe, the world
marathon record holder and the defending champion; U.S. Olympian and IAAF
World Championships 10,000 meter bronze medalist Kara Goucher and
three-time U.S. Olympian Abdi Abdirahman in the final race of the 2007-08
World Marathon Majors (WMM) series.
"We are thrilled to be hosting a reunion of champions at this year's ING
New York City Marathon," said Wittenberg. "With so many running greats
returning to the streets of New York, including Paula to defend her title,
it is sure to be a memorable race on November 2."
Tergat, 39, is a two-time Olympic medalist and former marathon world record
holder; he is returning to the streets of New York for the first time since
a third-place finish in 2006. He held the world record in the marathon from
2003 to 2007, with a time of 2:04:55, before it was broken by Haile
Gebrselassie. Largely absent for the last 18 months, Tergat made his return
to competitive racing at the Lisbon Half-Marathon this past Sunday and
finished in second place.
Ramaala, 36, is a three-time Olympian and will be competing in his fifth
ING New York City Marathon; he captured the marathon title in 2004 with a
breakthrough win in 2:09:28.
Current world marathon champion and reigning Olympic silver medalist
Ndereba, 36, holds two IAAF World Championships Marathon crowns and was the
first African woman to win the title, in 2003 in Paris. She is the only
four-time women's winner at the Boston Marathon and has two Chicago
Marathon titles. With two second place finishes in the ING New York City
Marathon (1999, 2003) she is looking to complete her list of achievements
with a New York victory and has a chance at the World Marathon Majors
Three-time Olympian Loroupe, 35, will be competing in her ninth career New
York City Marathon. She was the first African woman to win the New York
title, in 1994. Chepchumba, 38, the bronze medalist in the women's 2000
Olympic Marathon, will be making her sixth New York appearance having never
finished lower than sixth place.
Goumri, 32, in his marathon debut at the Flora London Marathon in 2007,
finished three seconds behind winner Martin Lel. At the same event this
year, he set a Moroccan record of 2:05:30.
Jeptoo, 27, was on the podium for the second time at the Boston Marathon
with a third place finish in April. This year, she hopes to better her
fourth place at the ING New York City Marathon 2006.
Martin Lel of Kenya, the two-time winner of the ING New York City Marathon
and the defending champion, will not be able to defend his title after
breaking his left foot in the Lisbon Half-Marathon this past Sunday.
In the professional wheelchair field, five former ING New York City
Marathon champions headline a stellar field. On the men's side, two-time
defending champion and current course record holder (1:29:22) Kurt Fearnley
of Australia, 2002 and 2003 winner Krige Schabort of South Africa, and
Kamel Ayari of New Rochelle, NY, the first winner in the race's official
wheelchair division, in 2000, are entered. The previously announced women's
field includes three-time and defending champ (2004, '05, '07) and course
record-holder (1:52:38) Edith Hunkeler of Switzerland and 2006 champion
Amanda McGrory of Kennett Square, PA, who leads the University of
Illinois's wheelchair team. Fearnley and Hunkeler are the recent winners in
the Paralympic Games Marathon in Beijing.
For more information, visit: INGnycmarathon.org