Has Eliud Kipchoge already won the Abbott World Marathon Majors Series IX? A view from Kenya, by Justin Lagat


Kipchoge_EluidLedsH-Berlin15.jpgEliud Kipchoge, photo by PhotoRun.net

Eliud Kipchoge is the fastest marathoner of 2015, with a 2:04 win in Berlin. He also won a masterful battle in London. Is he, as Justin Lagat suggests, the prohibitive favorite for Abbott WMM?

Is it safe to say Eliud Kipchoge is already the winner of the Abbott World Marathon Majors series IX?
Only one major marathon remains to be done in February next year before the AWMM champions are announced: The 2016 Tokyo Marathon. But, perhaps we already have the winner of the $500,000 jackpot prize money even before the Tokyo marathon is run.
The maximum points that one athlete can accumulate in one race is 25 points and only two races with the highest points for each athlete will be used in determining the winners. Eliud Kipchoge has already earned all the highest possible points that can be earned in one particular series having won both the London and the Berlin marathons and now stands with 50 points at the AWMM leader board.
Winners of other major marathons that Kipchoge did not win this year i.e. Endeshaw Negesse who won Tokyo, Lelisa Desisa who won Boston, Dickson Chumba who won Chicago and Stanley Biwot who won New York still have chances to win the Tokyo marathon next year and earn points equal to Kipchoge's. The same case applies to the Beijing world champion, Ghirmay Ghebreslassie who also got 25 points like the rest of the winners by winning the championship marathon.
However, in case of a tie in points happening, below are three ways to get the winner according to the AWMM website:
1.The athlete with the best head-to-head record in Qualifying Races during the Series period will be declared the winner. Only the fact that one athlete finished ahead of the other will be taken into account and not by how many places. For purposes of clarity, it shall not matter whether or not the athletes scored points towards their Series total when considering head-to-head competition.
2. The athlete who has won the most Qualifying Races during the period.
3. The athlete whom the majority of the Race Directors of the six Abbott World Marathon Majors determines to be the champion. In such circumstances, the Race Directors may decide to award the title jointly.
The AWMM Series IX began at the 2015 Tokyo Marathon and will end upon completion of the 2016 Tokyo Marathon. AWMM Series X will begin at the 2016 Boston Marathon and end upon completion of the 2017 Boston Marathon. Each subsequent series will begin and end at the next AWMM race on the calendar. The Olympic Marathon and IAAF World Championships Marathon will be included in the race schedule in the years they are held, but will not begin or end the Series.
While the race for the men's jackpot prize appears as good as already won, the women's field is still open and unpredictable with two women, Mary Keitany and Mare Dibaba, already tied on the lead with 41 points each.

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