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Stefano Baldini Returns to the ING New York City Marathon 2007
Olympic gold medalist to join impressive professional field in New York

 
New York/Milan, October 11, 2007 — Reigning Olympic gold medalist Stefano Baldini of Italy will add a touch of gold to an already sparkling men’s professional field at the ING New York City Marathon 2007 on Sunday, November 4.
The announcement was made at a news conference in Milan, where Baldini appeared with the chairman of the New York Road Runners board of directors, George Hirsch. “New York boasts a glittering honor roll of Italian champions, including Orlando Pizzolato, Gianni Poli, and Giacomo Leone, and we know Stefano doesn’t want his golden career to end without his name being added to that list,” Wittenberg said. “With him ride the hopes of a marathon-mad nation.”Baldini will face off against a handful of former New York champions, including previously announced Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil (2006), Hendrick Ramaala of South Africa (2004), and Kenyans Martin Lel (2003) and Rodgers Rop (2002).

Baldini, 36, a proven champion, has collected five international medals, among them the illustrious gold medal in the marathon at the 2004 Olympic Games. Baldini pulled away from American Meb Keflezighi at the end of the race to win the gold in Athens. He earned two bronze medals at the World Championships Marathon (2001 and 2003) and two gold medals at the European Championships (1998 and 2006). He holds the Italian record of 2:07:22 in the marathon, which he set at the 2006 Flora London Marathon.Baldini boasts a solid New York résumé, with two top-five finishes in five previous appearances in the ING New York City Marathon. He was fifth in 2002 with his best time of 2:09:12, and third in 1997.“I am really excited to compete again in the ING New York City Marathon,” Baldini said. “We all know how important it is for an Italian runner to be in the field of the most famous running event in the world. Since I did not compete in the World Championships in Osaka, I thought about an autumn marathon. I hope to be ready on November 4, and in good shape, to improve upon my sixth-place finish in 2006.”

The ING New York City Marathon has a guaranteed prize purse of more than $600,000. The ING New York City Marathon 2007 will mark the final race in the inaugural World Marathon Majors (WMM) series. The WMM series, which also includes marathons in Boston, London, Berlin, and Chicago, showcases the sport’s top athletes and awards an unprecedented $1 million champion’s prize.(ingnycmarathon.org)

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