NEW YORK, November 5- London Marathon champion, Mary Keitany, becomes the first Kenyan woman to be declared a World Marathon Majors (WMM) 42,774,569.83 KES jackpot winner following the cancellation of the New York Marathon.
With Geoffrey Mutai having already wrapped up the two-year cycle competition following his victory in Berlin in September, this also marks the first time that a single nation has scooped the WMM double since its inception in 2006.
“The World Marathon Majors announced that Kenyans Geoffrey Mutai and Mary Keitany are the champions of the 2011-2012 World Marathon Majors Series.
“With the cancellation of the 2012 ING New York City Marathon, the 2011-2012 Series has concluded and there will be no additional points awarded,” a statement from the series that incorporates the Big Five marathons of London, Boston, Berlin, Chicago and New York in addition to the Olympics and World Championship races in the year they occur stated.
Mutai had already secured the Series title in advance of the New York race with 75 points tallied in winning the 2011 Boston Marathon, the 2011 ING New York City Marathon, and the 2012 BMW Berlin Marathon.
“Keitany secured the title with 65 points accumulated with victories at the 2011 and 2012 Virgin London Marathons, and a third place finish at the 2011 ING New York City Marathon. These athletes will split the $1 million prize purse,” WMM added.
The champions’ presentation and photo call scheduled for Monday was scrapped out of respect for the situation in New York City that was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy which also led to the cancellation of the annual marathon.
World champion, Edna Kiplagat and Boston winner, Sharon Cherop, who were due to race on Sunday, were in the hunt for the WMM jackpot before the decision was made.
Robert ‘Mwafrika’ Cheruiyot, Martin Lel, the late Samuel Wanjiru (twice) and Emmanuel Mutai have kept the men’s honours in Kenyan hands since the competition was launched.