Eliud Kipchoge after winning the 2015 London Marathon (© Getty Images)
Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge and Mary Keitany are the Abbott World Marathon Majors Series IX champions it was announced after the Tokyo Marathon, the final race of the series, on Sunday (28).
Keitany, who was tied along with Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba and Kenya’s Helah Kiprop with 41 points, was selected as the series women’s champion in a vote by the leaders of the six WMM member races, in accordance with the WMM tie-breaking procedure.
Kipchoge and Keitany, who will each earn US$500,000, were honoured at an awards ceremony to mark the conclusion of the year-long series that featured the WMM races: the Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City marathons – all IAAF Gold Label Road Races – and the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 marathons.
“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 AbbottWMM general manager Tim Hadzima.
Kipchoge finished at the top of the WMM leader board, earning 50 points for his victories at the 2015 London and Berlin marathons.
Keitany earned her WMM title with a victory at the 2015 New York City Marathon and a second-place finish at the 2015 London Marathon.
How the World Marathon Majors works: athletes earn the following points by placing among the top five in qualifying races during the 12-month period.
1st place – 25 points
2nd place – 16 points
3rd place – 9 points
4th place – 4 points
5th place – 1 point
The champions are the men and women who score the most points during the one-year scoring period.
Points from a maximum of two races are scored. An athlete must start in at least two races over the cycle to be eligible. If an athlete earns points in more than two events, the athlete’s highest two finishes are scored.#
The AbbottWMM race directors met as a group immediately after the conclusion of the 2016 Tokyo Marathon and participated in a vote to validate the winners of the series title.
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 WMM points earned by their competitors in the respective races.
The following races made up the Abbott World Marathon Majors Series IX:
22 Feb 2015 – Tokyo Marathon
20 Apr 2015 – Boston Marathon
26 Apr 2015 – Virgin Money London Marathon
22 Aug 2015 – IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 men’s marathon
30 Aug 2015 – IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 women’s marathon
27 Sep 2015 – BMW BERLIN Marathon
11 Oct 2015 – Bank of America Chicago Marathon
1 Nov 2015 – TCS New York City Marathon
28 Feb 2016 – Tokyo Marathon
World Marathon Majors for the IAAF