Olympic champion heads up strongest ever women's field for London 2007

The Flora London Marathon announced today that the current Olympic Marathon Champion, Mizuki Noguchi will be taking to the streets of London next year on Sunday 22nd April, heading up the strongest women's elite field ever seen over this distance.

Mizuki Noguchi commented; "The Flora London Marathon brings together the highest level athletes. I have decided to go to London because I want the opportunity to test myself against the top athletes in the world".

Noguchi's winning time in Berlin in September 2005 (2:19:12) set three new records; the Berlin Marathon course record, the Japanese record and the Asian record, and also made her the third fastest female marathon runner of all time

Race Director, David Bedford commented "We are extremely pleased to have such a strong field in London including the Olympic Champion. I feel this is the best women's field that has ever been seen in London, and we are looking forward to witnessing a very exciting race in April. The women's elite race will be run under Championship conditions with no male pacemakers".

Other major signings include Chunxiu Zhou (CHN), first in the Seoul Marathon this year, and first and second respectively placed women in Chicago in October, Berhane Adere (ETH) and Galina Bogomolova (RUS). Also lining up is the current Berlin marathon champion Geta Wami (ETH).

Further contenders announced include Lorna Kiplagat (NED) and Constantina Tomescu-Dita (ROM), the winner and runner up at the recent inaugural IAAF 20K World Road Running Championships in Hungary.

They are joined by Lyudmila Petrova (RUS), second in London this year, Benita Johnson (AUS), third in Chicago back in October, Salina Kosgei (KEN), second in Berlin in September, Blake Russell (USA) and Adriana Pirtea (ROM).

Making their marathon debuts are Isabella Ochichi (KEN), current 5000m Olympic and Commonwealth title holder, along with Inga Abitova (RUS), current European 10,000m champion.

Over 96,000 UK applications were received for the 2007 ballot of the Flora London Marathon, taking place on Sunday, 22 April, 2007.

The Flora London Marathon is the largest annual fundraising event in the World, with over £41 ½ million raised by runners for charity in the 2006 Flora London Marathon, bringing the total amount raised for charity by runners since the race began back in 1981, to a grand total of £315 million.

Elite women's field fastest times:

Mizuki Noguchi (JPN) 2:19:12

Chunxiu Zhou (CHN) 2:19:51

Berhane Adere (ETH) 2:20:42

Galina Bogomolova (RUS) 2:20:47

Constantina Tomescu-Dita (ROM) 2:21:30

Geta Wami (ETH) 2:21:34

Susan Chepkemei (KEN) 2:21:46

Lorna Kiplagat (NED) 2:22:22

Lyudmila Petrova (RUS) 2:22.33

Benita Johnson (AUS) 2:22:36

Salina Kosgei (KEN) 2:23:22

Mara Yamauchi (GBR) 2:25:13

Kathy Butler (GBR) 2:28:39

Blake Russell (USA) 2:30:32

Isabella Ochichi (KEN) Debut

Inga Abitova (RUS) Debut