NAIROBI, October 3 – Reigning New York marathon champion Martin Lel will not defend his crown in this year’s race set for November 2 after breaking his foot.
A statement from the organisers of New York marathon on Friday said that the two time champion will not compete after fracturing his left foot during last weekend’s Lisbon Half marathon.
Lel who is leading the World Marathon Majors’ series will thus not be able to add onto his 76 points with just one round to go though he has an almost unassailable lead.
Despite his absence, Kenya will be ably represented in the classic five borough race with top athletes in attendance.
Former world marathon record holder and 2005 New York champion Paul Tergat will lead the Kenyan charge.
The 39 year old who has been absent for the past 18 months due to work commitments is back in the Big Apple race for the first time in two years and will be looking to rekindle memories of 2005 when he edged out South Africa’s Hendrick Ramaala to win right at the tape.
Ramaala will again be in the mix as will last year’s runners up Abdelrahhim Goumri, and 2006 winner Marilson Gomes dos Santos
Two time World champion and two time Olympic silver medallist Catherine Ndereba will lead the women’s charge.
The 36 year old registered one of her worst results in marathon in the race last year coming in sixth will be looking to improve eon that as well as winning one of the few crowns she is yet to win.
A win would also pout her in frame to win the world marathon majors crown and with it $500,000.
2005 Boston marathon champion Rita Jeptoo will also be in the race. She was on the podium for the second time at the Boston Marathon with a third-place finish in April. She hopes to better her fourth-place finish in the New York City Marathon 2006 this year.
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 woman’s Olympic marathon in 2000, will be making her sixth New York appearance having never finished lower than sixth place.
Competition will emanate mainly from Wolrd record holder nad defending champion Paula Radcliffe, Kara Goucher 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.
“We are thrilled to be hosting a reunion of champions at this year’s ING New York City Marathon,” said race director Mary Wittenberg adding “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.”