The Kenyan marathoners were named as winners of the Abbott World Marathon Majors Series IX following the Tokyo Marathon
Eliud Kipchoge and Mary Keitany have been crowned as the Abbott World Marathon Majors (WMM) Series IX champions following the Tokyo Marathon, the final race of the series.
Winners in Tokyo were world marathon silver medalist Helah Kiprop, who broke the course record with 2:21:27 to beat Amane Gobena and Edna Kiplagat, and Feyisa Lilesa, who claimed victory in the men’s race with 2:06:56 over Bernard Kipyego and Dickson Chumba.
Kipchoge and Keitany, who will each earn $500,000, were honoured at an awards ceremony to mark the conclusion of the year-long series that featured the Abbott WMM races: the Tokyo, Boston, Virgin Money London, BMW BERLIN, Bank of America Chicago and TCS New York City Marathons, plus the IAAF World Championships marathon.
Kipchoge secured his spot at the top of the series leaderboard having earned 50 points for his victories at the London Marathon and the Berlin Marathon.
Keitany, who was tied along with Mare Dibaba and Helah Kiprop with 41 points, was selected as the Series IX women’s champion in a vote by the leaders of the six Abbott WMM member races. Keitany won the New York City Marathon and finished second at the London Marathon.
The Abbott WMM race directors met after the Tokyo Marathon to participate in a vote to validate the winners of the Abbott WMM Series IX titles. The unanimous vote for the women’s champion focused on the strength of the race fields in which Keitany, Dibaba and Kiprop competed, as determined by the number of total Abbott WMM points earned by their competitors in the respective races.
Also honoured were David Mark of Chicago, Illinois, and Barbara Fleming-Ovens of Cranfield, Ireland, who finished the Tokyo Marathon to become Abbott WMM Six Star Finishers. They represent the almost 600 runners from all over the world who have completed all six of the Abbott WMM marathons, and they were the first to receive the new medals that are now available to all Six Star Finishers.
“This year we’ve demonstrated our commitment to championing the sport, supporting the elite runners who prove that marathoners are among the world’s greatest athletes, and celebrating the 250,000 runners who every year join us on our iconic courses,” said Abbott WMM general manager Tim Hadzima.
“Congratulations to Eliud, Mary, David, Barbara and all our Six Star Finishers, and we look forward to the beginning of Abbott World Marathon Majors Series X and the new Wheelchair Series in Boston in April.”
Abbott WMM Series X, and the new Abbott WMM Wheelchair Series X, begin at April’s Boston Marathon and end upon completion of the April 2017 Boston Marathon. The 2016 Olympic and Paralympic marathons are also part of Series X.