(AFP) – Sep 23, 2009
NEW YORK — Reigning Olympic silver medallist Jaouad Gharib of Morocco is one of seven international stars who has been added to the field for the 40th New York Marathon.
Kenyans James Kwambai and Patrick Makau, France's Christelle Daunay, Ireland's Martin Fagan, Russian Tatyana Petrova and Yuri Kano of Japan will compete in the November 1 race through the streets of Manhattan and suburbs of The Bronx and Queens.
"The world has always come to New York to run, and this year the field again includes title contenders from a host of countries," said race director Mary Wittenberg. "Jaouad, Patrick, and James add a dazzling combination of speed and experience to the race."
The 37-year-old Gharib joins a men's field that already includes defending champion Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil. Previous winners Hendrick Ramaala of South Africa, Paul Tergat of Kenya and Martin Lel of Kenya will also challenge for the podium.
Each will be eligible for a 70,000-dollar bonus award this year to any prior winner who captures the 2009 crown, giving them 200,000 dollars for a win from the largest prize purse in race history at 800,000 dollars.
Gharib placed third at the London Marathon earlier this year with a time of two hours, five minutes and 27 seconds.
The 26-year-old Kwambai has also impressed this year, posting the third fastest time in history (2:04:27) while finishing second at the Rotterdam Marathon. He was runner-up in the Berlin Marathon last year.
In 2008, French Olympian Daunay set the national marathon record of 2:28:24 in Japan. The 34-year-old finished 20th in the 2008 Olympic Games marathon in 2:31:48.
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