New York, Sept 23 — Two-time IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships silver medalist Patrick Makau and third-fastest marathoner in history James Kwambai will join the elite field in this year's New York City Marathon.“The world has always come to New York to run, and this year the field again includes title contenders from a host of countries,” said Wittenberg. “Jaouad, Patrick and James add a dazzling combination of speed and experience to the race. It is a delight to have France’s best woman Christelle, a major coup to have Japan’s Yuri and one of Russia’s strongest woman competitors, Tatyana.” New York Road Runners president and CEO and race director Mary Wittenberg.
Two time World maarthon champion Jaouad Gharib, Christelle Daunay of France, Martin Fagan of Ireland, Tatyana Petrova of Russia, and Yuri Kano of Japan have also been added to teh star studded cast of the race which will be held on November 1.
The only man to ever win two World Championships marathon titles, Gharib, 37, will be competing in his second ING New York City Marathon. He joins a men’s field that already features two-time winner and defending champion Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil, 2004 champion Hendrick Ramaala of South Africa, 2005 champion Paul Tergat, and two-time champion Martin Lel, both of Kenya. U.S. Olympians Ryan Hall and Brian Sell also have been previously announced.
Gharib holds the Moroccan records for the half-marathon and marathon, having finished third at the London Marathon earlier this year in a Moroccan record time of 2 hour, 5 minutes, and 27 seconds.
Makau, 24, is a half-marathon specialist who won four consecutive major half-marathons in 2008 and ran the second-fastest half-marathon ever (58:52) at Ras Al Khaimah. He made his marathon debut at the Fortis Rotterdam Marathon this past spring, finishing fourth in a time of 2:06:14.
Kwambai, 26, finished second earlier this year to Duncan Kibet by less than one second at the Rotterdam Marathon in a time of 2:04:27, the third-fastest ever.
In 2008, Kwambai finished second in the Berlin Marathon in 2:05:36, the seventh-fastest marathon time—the same race in which Haile Gebrselassie set a marathon world record.
Daunay, 34, set the French marathon record, 2:28:24, at Osaka in 2008. She placed 20th in the 2008 Olympic Games marathon in 2:31:48. Earlier this year, Daunay she set a personal record of 2:25:43 in Paris.
Fagan, 26, is an Irish Olympian who has had a standout year. He won the Austin Half-Marathon in Texas in January before breaking John Treacy’s long-standing Irish half-marathon record by finishing fifth in 1:00:57 at the Fortis City-Pier-City Half-Marathon in The Hague. Currently training in Flagstaff, AZ, Fagan will make his ING New York City Marathon debut.
Petrova, 26, is a known specialist in the 3000-meter steeplechase who won double silver medals in the 2006 European Athletes Championships and the 2007 World Championships in Osaka. Earlier this year, she won the Dubai Marathon in 2:25:53 in her debut at the distance.
Kano, 30, is one of Japan’s strongest competitors; she finished seventh this year at the World Championships marathon in Berlin in a time of 2:26:57. Her marathon best is 2:24:27.
Athletes will be vying for a total guaranteed prize purse of $800,000, the largest in race history. In celebration of the 40th running of the New York City Marathon, a new champion’s bonus of $70,000 will be awarded to any past champion who wins this year, bringing a former champion’s first-place prize this year to $200,000.