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37 thousand runners from 94 countries to run Sunday's Paris Marathon

Posted Apr 13 2009 11:02pm

Paris More than 31 per cent of those registered are from outside France and among the 11,500 foreign runner' s the biggest convoy 5000 hails from Great Britain, with 17.5 percent women participants.

The organizers expect more than 200,000 spectators to gather along the nice and historical course to cheer one of the biggest gathering of marathoners in the world today.

The Paris Marathon is not just known for its beautiful course but also for inspiring athletes to give their best, the quality of the contest can be gauged from the fact that last year the race witnessed a special record where top 12 athletes finished with sub 2:10 times.

The organizers expect a similar contest this year as well.

The French hopes will ride on veteran Driss El-Himer, who has a personal best of 2:06:48 and Kenyan-born Simon Munyutu (2:09:22).

The traditionally strong Kenyan armada is heading by 2nd placer from last year Chicago and Hamburg - David Mandago (2:07:23) together with Boniface Usisivu (2:07:50), Reims winner David Kiyeng (2:07:53), Shadrack Kiplagat (2:07:53) and Eindhoven winner Philip Singoei (2:07:57).

Among the 15 runners, who have entered the race, with a personal best of under 2:10 will be hero of 2004 Athens Olympic marathon Brazilian Vanderlei Lima (bronze holder) and Ethiopian Eshetu Wondimu, who has had the fastest time this year clocking 2:08:41 in January during the Dubai Marathon.

Among the debutants, the prominent names are Kenyan Francis Kibiwott (HM best 59:26), Ethiopian Raji Assefa (27:15 10 k track runner from 2007) and best athlete of Rwanda Dieudonne Disi.

The second placer at the 2008 Paris Marathon Ethiopian Worknesh Tola (2:25:37), will once again be the top name in the women' s category along with her team-mate Eyrusalem Kuma (2:26:51, sixth this year in Dubai).

Julia Muraga with 2:26:00 last year in Osaka is the top Kenyan name.

Among European runners, Russian Natalya Volgina (2:27:32) and French record holder Christelle Daunay (2:28:22), will be the top medal hopes. Last year Half-marathon world silver winner in Rio de Janeiro Ethiopian Aselefech Mergia will debut at the distance, she also clocked 1:07:48 this year to be second in Ras-Al-Khamiah race.

The winner will take home a booty of €50,000.

For more info please visit: European Athletics HERE.

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