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Fukushi and Okubo to Run New York City Marathon

A press release from the NYRR:

New York, September 19, 2012 — Two-time champion Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil and three-time Olympian Kayoko Fukushi of Japan will add fierce competition to the already stacked men’s and women’s fields in the 2012 ING New York City Marathon. Joining Gomes dos Santos in the men’s race will be Olympic marathoners Abderrahime Bouramdane of Morocco and Great Britain’s Scott Overall. 2011 runner-up Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia and national record-holders Valeria Straneo of Italy and Adriana Da Silva of Brazil will add to the women’s field, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.

2011 winner Masazumi Soejima of Japan and runner-up Shelly Woods of Great Britain were announced for the men’s and women’s wheelchair races.

Nationally, the telecast will be available on ESPN2, online at WatchESPN.com, and—for fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider—on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app. Locally, New Yorkers can watch the race on WABC-TV and 7online.com.

Previously announced runners for the men’s race include 2009 champion Meb Keflezighi (USA), 2010 champion Gebre Gebremariam (Ethiopia), Olympic bronze medalist Wilson Kipsang (Kenya), 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon winner Moses Mosop (Kenya), four-time U.S. Olympian Abdi Abdirahman, 2012 Boston Marathon fourth-placer Jason Hartmann (USA), and 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials fifth-placer Brett Gotcher.

In the women’s race, previously announced runners include Olympic marathon gold medalist Tiki Gelana (Ethiopia), bronze medalist Tatyana Arkhipova (Russia), defending champion Firehiwot Dado (Ethiopia), 2010 champion Edna Kiplagat (Kenya), 2012 Boston winner Sharon Cherop (Kenya), New Zealand Olympian Kim Smith, 2012 U.S. Olympians Julie Culley, Amy Hastings, and Janet Bawcom, and top U.S. contenders Michelle Frey, Alisha Williams, Serena Burla, and Molly Pritz.

Previously announced wheelers include Krige Schabort, Adam Bleakney, and Josh George in the men’s race and Amanda McGrory, Tatyana McFadden, and Shirley Reilly in the women’s race, all of the USA.

“We are honored to attract such a dominant international pro field for the 2012 ING New York City Marathon,” said Wittenberg. “Many of these runners grace us year after year, and we always welcome their boundless talent and ability to undoubtedly “wow” us. Marilson Gomes dos Santos and Kayoko Fukishi are dedicated competitors that will surely challenge the men’s and women’s field. Likewise, we look forward to hosting Olympians Abderrahime Bouramdane and Scott Overall, and Buzunesh Deba will be a test to the women’s contest after placing second last year—it is going to be a phenomenal race day.”

Gomes dos Santos, 35, of Brazil, is a two-time winner of the ING New York City Marathon (2006, 2008). This will be his sixth appearance in the race. He is the South American record-holder at 5000 and 10,000 meters and the half-marathon. Gomes dos Santos won the 2011 South American Half-Marathon Championships in Buenos Aires last September, and he placed fourth at the 2011 Virgin London Marathon in a personal-best 2:06:34.

Bouramdane, 34, of Morocco, has twice placed in the top five at the ING New York City Marathon. He is a two-time Olympian and the fifth-fastest Moroccan in history with his personal-best time of 2:07:33, which he ran at the 2010 Virgin London Marathon.

Overall, 29, of Great Britain, is a 2012 Olympian. He ran a personal-best 2:10:55 at the 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon. Overall set his half-marathon personal best of 1:01:25 at the 2011 NYC Half.

Solonei Rocha Da Silva, 30, of Brazil, is the 2011 Pan American Games gold medalist and has a personal best of 2:11:32. He also won the São Paulo Marathon in June in 2:12:25—four minutes ahead of the runner-up.

Fukushi, 30, of Japan, is a three-time Olympian and the Japanese record-holder at 3000 and 5000 meters and the half-marathon. She is also the Asian 15K record-holder. She set a personal best of 2:24:38 at the 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Straneo, 36, of Italy, holds the Italian record of 2:23:44, which she set at the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon. She finished eighth at both the 2012 London Olympic Marathon (2:25:27) and the 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon (2:26:33).

Da Silva, 31, of Brazil, won the 2011 South American Half-Marathon Championships in Buenos Aires last September. She was the 2011 Pan American Games Marathon gold medalist and ran a Brazilian record of 2:29:17 at the 2012 Tokyo Marathon last February.

Deba, 30, of Ethiopia, who currently resides in the Bronx, NY, was the 2011 ING New York City Marathon runner-up in a personal-best time of 2:23:19. She won both the 2011 Los Angeles Marathon and the Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Marathon, where she broke the course-record.

Eri Okubo, 29, of Japan, is a fast-rising marathoner with a personal best of 2:26:08, set at the 2012 Tokyo Marathon.

Ana Dulce Félix, 29, of Portugal, is the 2012 European Championships 10,000-meter gold medalist and a two-time European Cross Country Championships medalist. She finished fourth at the 2011 ING New York City Marathon.

Hilda Kibet, 31, of the Netherlands, is a 2012 Olympic marathoner and was the 2008 European Cross Country Champion. She won the 2007 NYC Half and the 2008 NYRR New York Mini 10K.

Jelena Prokopcuka, 35, of Latvia, is a two-time ING New York City Marathon champion (2005, 2006).

The top international contenders in the wheelchair division recently competed at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. On the men’s side, Marcel Hug of Switzerland, Australia’s Kurt Fearnley, and Josh Cassidy of Canada will headline the field; the women’s field will include Wakako Tsuchida of Japan, Sandra Graf of Switzerland, Christie Dawes of Australia, and Canada’s Diane Roy.

“The international contenders in this year’s wheelchair division are coming to New York after winning a host of medals on the track and on the roads at the recent Paralympic Games in London,” said division coordinator Bob Laufer. “They are looking to end their 2012 racing season with more of the same in our marathon.”

Soejima, 42, was a member of the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Japanese Paralympic teams. He placed fourth at the marathon in London this past summer. Soejima won the 2011 Boston Marathon with a time of 1:18:50 and holds the Japanese certified-course record for the wheelchair marathon (1:21:23). He will be looking to defend his ING New York City Marathon crown this year.

Shelly Woods, 26, of Great Britain, has finished second in New York four times (2011, 2009, 2007, 2006) and third in her debut (2005). She won the 2012 Virgin London Marathon and took the silver medal in the London Paralympics Marathon.

Other top contenders in the wheelchair division:

Kurt Fearnley, 31, of Australia, is the winner of four consecutive ING New York City Marathon titles (2006-2009). He also won the 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Fearnley has competed on four Paralympic teams (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012) and was the London Paralympic Games Marathon bronze medalist, finishing one second behind the winner. He has won nine Paralympic marathon gold medals and a World Championships Marathon gold.

Marcel Hug, 27, of Switzerland, placed fifth at the 2011 ING New York City Marathon and was the runner-up at the2012 Paralympic Games Marathon in London. In 2009, he had four marathon victories and finished third at the ING New York City Marathon. In 2010, Hug finished second at the Virgin London Marathon and later that year won the Oita (Japan) Wheelchair Marathon. This will be his fifth ING New York City Marathon.

Josh Cassidy, 27, of Canada, is making his seventh appearance at the ING New York City Marathon. He won the 2012 Boston Marathon in an all-conditions world record time of 1:18:25 and placed 12th at the 2012 Paralympics. Cassidy won the Canadian Marathon Championships in 2009 and both the Ottawa Marathon and the Virgin London Marathon in 2010.

Heinz Frei, 54, of Switzerland, holds world wheelchair records from 10,000 meters (20:25.90) to 100 kilometers (3:38:50). He has won 14 Paralympic gold medals and 12 World Championships gold medals. He was eleventh in the marathon at the 2012 Paralympic Games.

Kota Hokinoue, 38, of Japan, placed sixth in the London Paralympic Marathon and was the third-place finisher at the 2011 ING New York City Marathon.

Tomas Hamerlak, 37, of Poland, placed eighth in the London Paralympic Marathon and sixth at the 2011 ING New York City Marathon.

Rafael Botello, 33 of Spain, placed ninth in the London Paralympic Marathon and 10th at the 2011 ING New York City Marathon.

Wakako Tsuchida, 38, of Japan, placed fifth in the London Paralympic Marathon. She won her fifth consecutive Boston Marathon in 2011. Her time of 1:34:06 broke the women’s all-conditions marathon world record, which had stood since 1994. Tsuchida has also won in London (2010) and Oita (2009). She has finished third (2009) and fourth (2011) at the ING New York City Marathon.

Sandra Graf, 42, of Switzerland, was the bronze medalist at the 2012 Paralympic Marathon. In 2008, she won the Virgin London Marathon.

Christie Dawes, 32, of Australia, had a successful Paralympic Games, placing sixth in the marathon and taking the bronze medal at 5000 meters. She finished third at the ING New York City Marathon in 2008, fourth in 2009, and fifth in 2011.

Diane Roy, 41, of Canada, finished sixth in both the 2011 ING New York City Marathon and the 2012 London Paralympic Marathon.

About the ING New York City Marathon
NYRR’s premier event, the ING New York City Marathon is the most loved and most inclusive marathon in the world, attracting elite athletes and recreational runners alike for the challenge and thrill of a lifetime. The race has grown tremendously since it began in 1970 with just 127 runners racing four laps of Central Park. Now, more than 47,000 participants from all over the globe flock to New York City every November for an adrenaline-filled road tour of all five boroughs, starting on Staten Island at the foot of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and ending in Central Park. Some run for prize money or bragging rights, others for charity or their personal best. All are cheered on by more than two million live spectators and a TV audience of 330 million.

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