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Lel set for New York

NEW YORK, October 1 – Two-time winners Martin Lel and Marlison Gomes dos Santos and reigning women's champion Derartu Tulu will return to compete at the New York Marathon on November 7, organizers said Thursday.Other stars announced for the race include four-time Boston Marathon winner Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, two-time New York runner-up Abderrahim Goumri and 2000 New York women’s winner Ludmila Petrova.

Lel, a three-time London Marathon winner who captured New York crowns in 2003 and 2007, set a personal best of 2hrs 5mins 15secs at London in 2008, the same year the 31-year-old Kenyan finished fifth at the Beijing Olympics.

Brazil’s Dos Santos, 33, won at New York in 2006 and 2008 while Kenya’s Cheruiyot, 32, won at Chicago in 2006 and was second last year at New York while Morocco’s Goumri, 34, was the Big Apple runner-up the prior two years.

Defending men’s champion Meb Keflezighi and marathon world-record holder Haile Gebreselassie had already committed to the race.

Rivals also include James Kwambai, 27, a Kenyan who was second at last year’s Rotterdam Marathon in 2:04:27 and fifth at New York in 2007; and South African Henrick Ramaala, 38, the 2004 New York winner and 2005 New York runner-up to Paul Tergat in the closest finish in marathon history.

Ethiopian Tulu, 38, is a four-time Olympian who won 10,000-meters gold in 1992 and 2000. She won last year’s New York title in 2:28:52.

Her top rivals include Russia’s Petrova, 41, who has finished second at New York in 2008 and 2009 and previously announced entrants Mara Yamauchi of Britain, Kenya’s Mary Keitany and US marathon debutante Shalane Flanagan.

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