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January 21, 2019

Kenya’s Kiplagat, Kirui top stellar line up for 2018 Boston Marathon

Geoffrey Kipkorir Kirui and Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia in action on August 6, 2017 during the World Athletics Championships Men's Marathon in London Stadium. /REUTERS
Geoffrey Kipkorir Kirui and Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia in action on August 6, 2017 during the World Athletics Championships Men's Marathon in London Stadium. /REUTERS

World champion Geoffrey Kirui will lead at least six sub-2:06 runners at the 123rd edition of the Boston Marathon on 15 April.

The line-up features nine previous winners including six women with PBs faster than 2:21.

Defending champion Yuki Kawauchi, Kirui and two-time Boston Marathon champion Lelisa Desisa headline the men’s line-up alongside 2016 winner Lemi Berhanu and 2012 champion Wesley Korir.

Those five former champions will line up alongside two-time Amsterdam Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono and Ethiopian duo Sisay Lemma and Solomon Deksisa, all of whom have PBs faster than 2:05.

Eritrea’s 2015 world marathon champion Ghirmay Ghebreslassie and six-time world half marathon champion Zersenay Tadese will also be in Boston, as will Japan’s Asian Games champion Hiroto Inoue and Beppu-Oita runner-up Hayato Sonoda.

The US contingent includes last year’s third-place finisher Shadrack Biwott and Olympians Dathan Ritzenhein, Abdi Abdirahman and Jared Ward.

Rotterdam winner Kenneth Kipkemoi, two-time Toronto champion Benson Kipruto and Beirut winner Mohamed Reda El Aaraby will all be making their Boston Marathon debut.

In the women’s race, defending champion Desiree Linden will take on two-time world champion Edna Kiplagat, 2015 Boston Marathon champion Caroline Rotich and 2012 Boston Marathon winner Sharon Cherop. The quartet of past Boston winners will line up against a trio of Ethiopian women with sub-2:20 PBs: three-time Dubai Marathon winner Aselefech Mergia, 2015 world champion Mare Dibaba and 2017 Dubai winner Worknesh Degefa.

Kenya’s 2012 Olympic 10,000m silver medallist Sally Kipyego and Ethiopian trio Meskerem Assefa, Belaynesh Oljira and Marta Megra will also be in Boston, while Jordan Hasay, Sara Hall, Lindsay Flanagan, Becky Wade and Sarah Crouch lead the US contingent. Last year’s second and third-place finishers, USA’s Sarah Sellers and Canada’s Krista DuChene, will return. Betsy Saina, European bronze medallist Eva Vrabcova and marathon debutant Mary Wacera will also be on the start line.

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