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London Marathon Promises to be One to Remember - 2002-04-13


Sunday's London Marathon promises to be one to remember with Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie and Britain's Paula Radcliffe making their debut in the event.

Gebrselassie, widely regarded as the greatest distance runner ever on the track, set 15 world records and won two Olympic gold medals and four world championships in the 10,000 meters.

He has said he wants to break the marathon world record of two hours, five minutes, 42 seconds held by American Khalid Khannouchi. Defending men's champion Abdelkader El Mouaziz of Morocco, Kenya's Paul Tergat, New York Marathon champion Tesjaye Jifar of Ethiopia, and three-time London winner Antonio Pinto of Portugal are also in the race.

The women's field should also provide plenty of excitement, with two-time world cross-country champion Paul Radcliffe of Britain challenging defending champion Derartu Tulu of Ethiopia. Tulu, a two-time Olympic 10,000 meters champion, will have to hold off challenges from Svetlana Zakhorova of Russia and Joyce Chempchumba of Kenya.

Organizers are offering the winners of Sunday's 42-kilometer race $55,000 for both the men's and women's champion. Several top stars could make many times that in appearance fees.

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