Gomes Dos Santos Joins NYC Field

The field is chock-full of international talent.

The field is chock-full of international talent.

From: NYRR Media

Two-time ING New York City Marathon champion Marilson Gomes dos Santos and three-time Olympian Kayoko Fukushi  lead the roster of a dozen international athletes who round out the professional fields for the ING New York City Marathon on November 4, it was announced Wednesday by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.

Dos Santos, 35, of Brazil, won the ING New York City Marathon in 2006 and 2008 and will be competing in the race for the sixth time. He finished a strong fifth in the 2012 London Olympic Marathon, and could head toward 2016 as a major star as his home country hosts the next Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Fukushi, 30, holds the Japanese record at 3,000 meters, 5,000 meters, and the half marathon. She ran a personal best of 2:24:38 in finishing third at the 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and she recently finished 10th at 10,000 meters in the 2012 Olympics.

At least one of the international stars won’t have to travel far: Returning for another attempt at victory will be 2011 ING New York City Marathon runner-up Buzunesh Deba, an Ethiopian who for the past seven years has lived and trained in the Bronx.  Deba, 30, came to last year’s race, her first World Marathon Major, having won eight marathons in three years, and ran a personal best 2:23:19 in finishing just four seconds behind her friend and countrywoman Firehiwot Dado.

The race on November 4 will be a comeback for Deba, who pulled out of the 2012 Boston Marathon the day before the event with a foot injury and has not competed since, as well as a rematch with Dado, who was previously announced. Should Deba improve on her position from last year, she would become the first New York City resident to win the ING New York City Marathon since the race expanded to all five boroughs in 1976.

Also in the women’s field will be Jelena Prokopcuka, 35, of Latvia, and Valeria Straneo, 36, of Italy. Prokopcuka, a three-time Olympian who won the ING New York City Marathon in 2005 and 2006, ran a national-record  time of 1:08:09 in finishing fourth at last weekend’s Bupa Great North Run Half Marathon. Straneo set the Italian national marathon record with her 2:23:44 runner-up finish in the 2012 ABN Amro Rotterdam Marathon and placed eighth in the marathon at the 2012 Olympics.

“It has always been a dream of mine to run New York,” Straneo told the media in Milan on Tuesday, where her participation was officially announced. “If you are a runner, you must do New York at least once in your life because New York is the marathon. Everybody, even if they don’t know the sport, people know New York.”

Also expected to compete are:

  • Abderrahime Bouramdane, 34, of Morocco, a two-time Olympian who has twice placed in the top five here
  • Scott Overall, 29, of Great Britain, a 2012 Olympian who ran his half-marathon personal best of 1:01:25 this spring at the NYC Half
  • Solonei Rocha da Silva, 30, of Brazil, the 2011 Pan American Games gold medalist
  • Ana Dulce Félix, 29, of Portugal, the 2012 European Champion at 10,000 meters, who finished fourth in last year’s ING New York City Marathon
  • Hilda Kibet, 31, of the Netherlands, a 2012 Olympian in the marathon and the 2008 European Cross Country champion, who won the 2007 NYC Half and the 2008 NYRR Mini 10K
  • Adriana da Silva, 31, of Brazil, the 2011 Pan American Games gold medalist in the marathon
  • Eri Okubo, 29, of Japan, who set her personal best of 2:26:08 in finishing fourth at the 2012 Tokyo Marathon.