Kastor aiming for U.S. record at Flora London Marathon
LONDON, England (April 20, 2006) -- Olympic bronze medalist Deena Kastor leads the women's field heading into Sunday's Flora London Marathon, with her sights on her own U.S. marathon record of 2 hours, 21 minutes, 16 seconds, set here in 2003.
Kastor, who set a U.S. half marathon record at the Berlin Half Marathon earlier this month is also set on being the first U.S. woman to run under 2:20.
"Breaking 2:20 is still a bit of a novelty," said Kastor at a Thursday press conference. "I would like to be among the select few to have done it at this time."
Kastor heads a field that includes IAAF World Half Marathon champion Constantina Tomescu-Dita of Romania, who finished second to her at the 2005 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon; Berhane Adere of Ethiopia, the 2005 IAAF World Championships gold medalist at 10,000 meters; and Margaret Okayo of Kenya, the 2004 Flora London Marathon champion.
American record holder and former world record holder Khalid Khannouchi is among the contenders in the men's field, which also includes Olympic gold medalist Stefano Baldini and Haile Gebrselassie.
More good news for Americans at Boston
A total of five women and 13 men qualified for the 2008 Olympic Trials Marathon at Monday's B.A.A. Boston Marathon, further demonstrating the resurgence of U.S. marathon performances.
Emily Levan (Wiscasset, Maine) led U.S. women running an Olympic Trials "A" standard of 2:37:01 to finish 13th. Michelle Lilienthal (Philadelphia, Pa.); Michelle Rorke (Bronxville, N.Y.); Carly Graytock (Cambridge, Mass.); and Melisa Christian (Dallas, Texas) each ran the "B" qualifying standard for the Olympic Trials.
In addition to placing five men in the top-ten, nine U.S. men achieved the "A" qualifying standard, while another four achieved the "B" standard. Americans also took 14 of the top-25 places at this year's event.
Currently a total of 31 women and 50 men have qualified for the 2008 Olympic Trials Marathon.
For more information on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials and qualifying standards visit www.usatf.org/groups/RoadRunning/calendars/OlympicTrials.asp.
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