SYDNEY, October 8 – Olympic marathon champions Samuel Wanjiru and Stefano Baldini will feature in next month's Great Australian Run in Melbourne, organisers said on Thursday.Kenya’s Wanjiru, 22, who won in Beijing last year and Italian Baldini, 38, the 2004 Athens champion, will lead thousands of runners on the 15-kilometre course through the city streets on November 29.
Wanjiru, who holds the half marathon world record, has a personal best marathon time of 2:05:10 which he set in winning this year’s London Marathon.
The Kenyan is chasing down Haile Gebrselassie’s world marathon record of 2:03:59 set in Berlin last year.
"These goals are still both within my reach. I’m only one minute and 11 seconds off the world record and I believe I can break the two-hour mark within the next five years." Wanjiru said in a statement.
Wanjiru last year in Beijing became the youngest marathon gold medallist since 1932 and the first ever Kenyan athlete to win Olympic gold in the event.
He covered the course in 2:06:32 and smashed the Olympic record by two minutes and 49 seconds, erasing Portugal’s Carlos Lopes’s time of 2:09:21 set at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics from the record books.