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One Thousand Runners to Qualify for Inaugural Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group World Championships

April 23, 2019

Age Group titles to be awarded at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon

(London, 23 April, 2019) — One thousand age group runners from around the globe will qualify for a place at the inaugural Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM) Wanda Age Group World Championships which will be an integral part of next year’s Virgin Money London Marathon.

Heralding the start of an exciting new era in age group marathon running, the AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Rankings launched at the BMW Berlin Marathon in September 2018.  The qualification period will conclude at the same event this September after more than 50 qualifying events around the world have given runners aged 40 and above the chance to earn their place at the World Championships. 

To ensure global representation for the World Championships, the top scoring male and female across all age categories from each country in the ranking system will be invited to take part. Based on the current rankings, this will account for approximately 300 places (150 nations represented).

The remaining places will be equally divided between male and female runners across the nine age categories. The number of places awarded in each age category will be allocated to reflect the number of qualifiers in that age group in the ranking system. 

Tim Hadzima, Executive Director, Abbott World Marathon Majors, said: “Today’s news is an exciting step forward in our planning for the first ever Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group World Championships which will take place a year from now, here in London. 

“The amazing response from runners across all continents show the appetite for this championship. The world rankings are being hotly contested so it is going to come right down to the final few qualifying events to see who gets a place on the start line. The standard of marathon running in the over 40s is extremely impressive and there is no doubt that there is a huge demand for this event, giving all these age group runners the chance to show what they can do on a world stage.” 

These top 1,000 runners will receive an invitation by the end of October for the April 26th event and will have a specified time period in which to reply before the invitations move down the rankings to the next qualified runners. 

On top of the 1,000 invitations, all ‘Good For Age’ runners (aged 40 and above) at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon will be automatically included in the Age Group Championship race. Approximately 6,000 runners (split evenly between men and women) from the UK are allocated a place in the Virgin Money London Marathon by recording a qualifying time on a certified course during a set time period.

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming runners from around the world to London next year for the first Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group World Championships and pledge  to ensure it’s a truly memorable experience for these runners, many of whom will never have run in London.” [

To receive their invitation to the start line of the age group world championships, all qualifying runners need to create a profile on Abbottwmm.com. An athlete’s best two times from the qualifying events will be displayed and count towards their final place in the world rankings.

For more information on the scoring system and world rankings, visit www.Abbottwmm.com

For media enquiries, please contact:

Lorna Campbell

Head of Communications, Abbott World Marathon Majors

Lorna.Campbell@wmmajors.com 

Notes to editors:

ABOUT ABBOTT WORLD MARATHON MAJORS

The Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM) is a series of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world – Tokyo Marathon, B.A.A. Boston Marathon, Virgin Money London Marathon, BMW BERLIN-MARATHON, Bank of America Chicago Marathon and TCS New York City Marathon.

Encompassing an annual series for elite runners and elite wheelchair athletes, AbbottWMM also applauds the achievements and passion of everyday champions from around the world. The new AbbottWMM Six Star System is an online results hub that celebrates every runner who has completed from one to six of the races in the series and encourages them to ‘Reach For The Stars’.

The AbbottWMM launched AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Rankings – our first ever global age group marathon ranking system in 2018. Qualifying began in Berlin in September 2018 and will include more than 50 races across the world. The rankings will culminate at the first AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championship race taking place in spring 2020.

For more information,visit www.Abbottwmm.com 

ABOUT ABBOTT

Abbott is a global healthcare leader that helps people live more fully at all stages of life. Our portfolio of life-changing technologies spans the spectrum of healthcare, with leading businesses and products in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic medicines. Our 103,000 colleagues serve people in more than 160 countries.

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ABOUT WANDA SPORTS HOLDINGS

Wanda Sports Holdings is the world’s leading sports business entity. Founded to capture the opportunities in the global sports industry and to contribute to the prosperous international sports landscape – in three key areas: 1) Spectator Sports (media and marketing business), 2) Participation Sports (active lifestyle business), 3) Services (digital, production and service business). Wanda Sports Holding incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN®, and Wanda Sports China. The headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.