London Marathon attracts the best

LONDON - World half-marathon record holder Sammy Wanjiru of Kenya and US champion Ryan Hall have been added to the field for this year's Flora London Marathon.

LONDON - World half-marathon record holder Sammy Wanjiru of Kenya and US champion Ryan Hall have been added to the field for this year's Flora London Marathon.

The pair will join three-time winner Martin Lel and the world and Olympic champions Luke Kibet and Stefano Baldini for the race on April 13.

Wanjiru and Hall both made their marathon debuts last year.

"We have assembled one of the best ever fields for the race this year," said race director David Bedford.

Wanjiru, who won December's Fukuoka Marathon in his first attempt at the distance, is targeting a time of two hours and five minutes in London as he bids for a place on the Kenyan Olympic team.

Hall is already assured of his place in Beijing having won the US trials in New York in November.

The 25-year-old made his marathon debut in London last year when he finished seventh.

Sweden's former high jump world champion Kajsa Bergqvist announced her retirement from international competition yesterday.

"It's a decision that has grown during the autumn," the 31-year-old said in a statement on the Swedish athletics federation website (www.friidrott.se).

Last September, Bergqvist opted out of the remainder of the season after finishing seventh at the Osaka world championships and another poor performance at the Golden League meeting in Zurich. She said then that her focus was on this year's Beijing Olympic Games, where she thought she could challenge for one of the medals.

"It was hard for me to have the right kind of spark during 2007, so I decided to take a thorough break. I wanted to feel the joy come back by itself, but it didn't and if I no longer have the drive from before it's not possible to carry on."- BBC and Reuters

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