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Wanjiru, Shobukhova crowned champions of 2009-10 World Marathon Majors Series

NEW YORK CITY, November 8, 2010 Sammy Wanjiru of Kenya and Liliya Shobukhova of Russia have been crowned champions of the 2009-2010 World Marathon Majors series, and both were presented $500,000 USD for their respective accomplishments at an awards banquet today in New York City. Wanjiru accumulated 75 points over the two-year series with a win at the 2009 Virgin London Marathon and back-to-back victories at the 2009 and 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathons. Wanjiru also won the 2008-2009 WMM series. Shobukhova tallied 85 points over the past two years with a pair of victories at the 2009 and 2010 Chicago Marathons, a victory at the 2010 London Marathon and a third-place finish at the same event in 2009.

Wanjiru secured the 2009-2010 WMM series win with a thrilling victory over Ethiopia's Tsegaye Kebede at the Chicago Marathon on October 10.

�"Last year I promised I would be back here to defend my World Marathon Majors title and I'm proud to have fulfilled that promise," said Wanjiru. �"Being the Olympic Marathon champion is a dream for everyone, but to win the World Marathon Majors series means that you have to be strong and consistent over two years and I'm happy to have achieved this honor twice."

Shobukhova has scored WMM points in all four of her career marathons, including victories in her last three. She unseated Germany's Irina Mikitenko, victor of the last two WMM series.

�"I want to thank the race directors and event organizers for the opportunity to compete in the World Marathon Majors," said Shobukhova.

�"It is a great idea and serves not as pressure, but as a source of motivation for athletes to compete at their best at the world's best races. After I won the 2009 Chicago Marathon I knew I had an opportunity to win the series title, and I'm proud to have achieved this goal and I hope to be back next year."

In the series, which was established in 2006, the world's top runners score points for top five finishes in the five events that comprise the World Marathon Majors: Virgin London Marathon, B.A.A. Boston Marathon, BMW Berlin Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon and ING New York City Marathon. Athletes also earn World Marathon Major points at the Olympic Games every four years and IAAF World Championships every other year.

WMM series points are awarded as follows: 25 points for first place, 15 points for second place, 10 points for third place, five points for fourth place and one point for fifth place.

World Marathon Majors series winners are as follows:
WMM Series Men Women
2009-2010 Sammy Wanjiru, Kenya Liliya Shobukhova, Russia
2008-2009 Sammy Wanjiru, Kenya Irina Mikitenko, Germany
2007-2008 Martin Lel, Kenya Irina Mikitenko, Germany
2006-2007 Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, Kenya Gete Wami, Ethiopia

Final 2009-2010 WMM Series Top 5 Men
Place Name Country Point Total
1 Samuel Wanjiru Kenya 75
2 Tesgaye Kebede Ethiopia 65
3 Emmanuel Mutai Kenya 50
4 Deriba Merga Ethiopia 35
5 Jaouad Gharib Morocco 30

Final 2009-2010 WMM Series Top 5 Women
Place Name Country Point Total
1 Liliya Shobukhova Russia 85
2 Irina Mikitenko Germany 41
3 Salina Kosgei Kenya 36
4 Teyba Erkesso Ethiopia 30
5 Xue Bai China 25
5 Bezunesh Bekele Ethiopia 25
5 Atsede Habtamu Ethiopia 25
5 Aberu Kebede Ethiopia 25
5 Edna Kiplagat Kenya 25
5 Derartu Tulu Ethiopia 25
www.worldmarathonmajors.com

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New York: Richard Finn +1 212.423.2229