IAAF org. Back in the reckoning for honours - NYC Marathon on sunday

Thursday 4 November 2004 New York, 2004 - For the first time since the days of

Bill Rodgers and Alberto Salazar, there are a number of American men who have a

realistic chanced to do well in the ING New York City Marathon (Sun 7


Four American in the top 10?

No, they e not about to blow away the Kenyans and other Africans who are

expected to again dominate the 35th running of the race, but there is at least

a possibility that any one of four Americans could finish in the top 10 - which

has happened exactly once in the last 10 years.

Keflezighis first marathon

That was in 2002, when Mebratom Keflezighi finished ninth in 2:13:31, more than

five minutes behind winner Rogers Rop of Kenya. That was Keflezighis first

marathon; since then he has improved his PB to 2:10.03 in the 2003 LaSalle Bank

Chicago Marathon, and his status in the distance-running world with a second

place in the Athens Olympic marathon behind Stefano Baldini of Italy.

Only 10 weeks to the day after

And on Sunday, only 10 weeks to the day after that Athens race, Keflezighi will

be running here. Early in September, when he was asked about the somewhat brief

interval between the two major marathons, he told the New York Times, "My

body feels great, so Im not worried about it. Im in shape." That was at

the end of his brief post-Olympic layoff; next day he went back into heavy

training at altitude for Sundays race and hasn been saying much


As with his Olympic race, Keflezighi will be in the lead bunch ...