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Emmanuel Mutai bags Sh50m Majors jackpot

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NAIROBI, Kenya, November 7- London marathon titleholder, Emmanuel Mutai, is $500,000 (Sh50m) richer after his second finish at Sunday’s New York Marathon saw him clinch the 2010-2011 World Marathon Majors (WMM) Series jackpot.

Mutai, raced through the five-boroughs of New York in 2:06:28 to trail his compatriot and namesake, Geoffrey (2:05:06) across the tape thereby accumulating 70 points, five ahead of the New York and Boston winner, to be confirmed the fourth Kenyan male winner of the Majors.

He thus follows in the footsteps of Robert ‘Mwafrika’ Cheruiyot, Martin Lel and twice winner, the late Samuel Wanjiru who have held the WMM crown in Kenya since the series was introduced in 2006.

“I’m happy with the results. I ran 2:06, under the course record today. That’s a lot of difference from last year. I’m happy with that. It was challenging,” the London winner told IAAF after surging away from Ethiopian Tsegay Kebede to seal second place after his namesake tore away from all challengers for victory.

It was the first time for the Majors men’s title to be decided at the last event with Berlin champion and world-record holder Patrick Makau (60) holding a five-point lead over Emmanuel (55), Ethiopia’s Tsegay Kebede (41), Geoffrey (40) and 2010 New York winner, Gebre Gebremariam (35).

On Sunday, the Boston winner who blasted to 2:03:02 in April made a move around the 35K mark, taking a lead he would not relinquish and it appeared he was set up to earn the WMM bonus since the only other man who could catch a first-place Emmanuel was far back and seemingly not a threat.

However, matters took a new twist by the 24-mile mark when Emmanuel appeared in third place just behind Gebre.

Motivated by the knowledge that if he could get by the Ethiopian and take second in NY he would surpass Geoffrey in the WMM standings, Emmanuel rose to the occasion and created a lead of 46 seconds over Gebremariam over the last 2.2 miles.

So despite playing bridesmaid in New York for the second year running, Emmanuel’s consolation prize was first in the WMM leader board.

The two-year series incorporates the Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York marathons in addition to World Championships and Olympics races in the years they fall with 25 points for victory, 15 for second and ten for third.

The corresponding women’s WMM competition was won in October, when Liliya Shobukhova (Russia) broke the tape in Chicago Marathon with a time of 2:18:20, and set an insurmountable 30-point lead in the standings to win the $500,000 (Sh40m) prize.

Final Men’s Leader Board:

1. Emmanuel Mutai, Kenya, 70 points
* 1st, 2011 Virgin London Marathon – 2:04:40 – 25 pts.
* 2nd, 2010 ING New York City Marathon – 2:09:18 – 15 pts.
* 2nd, 2010 Virgin London Marathon – 2:06:23 – 15 pts.
* 2nd, 2011 ING New York City Marathon – 2:06:28 – 15 pts.
2. Geoffrey Mutai – Kenya – 65 pts.
* 1st, 2011 Boston Marathon – 2:03:02 – 25 pts.
* 2nd, 2010 -real, Berlin Marathon – 2:05:08 – 15 pts.
* 1st, 2011 ING New York City Marathon, 2:05:06 – 25 pts.
3. Patrick Makau – Kenya – 60 points
* 1st, 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon – 2:03:38 (WR) – 25 pts.
* 3rd, 2011 Virgin London Marathon – 2:05:45 – 10 pts.
* 1st, 2010 -real, Berlin Marathon – 2:05:08 – 25 pts.
4. Tsegaye Kebede – Ethiopia – 51 points
* 5th, 2011 Virgin London Marathon – 2:07:48 – 1 pt.
* 2nd, 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon – 2:06:43 – 15 pts.
* 1st, 2010 Virgin London Marathon – 2:05:19 – 25 pts.
* 3rd, 2011 ING New York City Marathon – 2:07:13 – 10 pts.
5. Moses Mosop – Kenya – 40 points
* 1st, 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon – 2:05:37 – 25 pts.
* 2nd, 2011 Boston Marathon – 2:03:06 – 15 pts.
6. Gebre Gebremariam – Ethiopia – 40 pts.
* DNF, 2011 IAAF World Championships – 0 pts.
* 3rd, 2011 Boston Marathon – 2:04:53 – 10 pts.
* 1st, 2010 ING New York City Marathon – 2:08:14 – 25 points
* 4th, 2011 ING New York City Marathon – 2:08:00 – 5 pts.

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