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CAN CHERONO RETAIN BOSTON TITLE?

Cherono faces stellar field in Boston Marathon defence

Other athletes in the field include Japan’s Kentaro Nakamoto and Shoya Osaki, Ethiopia’s Fikre Bekele and Eritrea’s Abrar Osman.

In Summary

•Cherono who clinched the Chicago marathon title last year in October faces a stellar cast for one of the oldest city marathons in the world.

•He will face three other Boston champions two-time winner and world champion Lelisa Desisa, 2018 victor Yuki Kawauchi of Japan, and 2017 world champion Geoffrey Kirui.

Kenya’s Lawrence Cherono crosses the finish line to win Amsterdam last year /COURTESY
Kenya’s Lawrence Cherono crosses the finish line to win Amsterdam last year /COURTESY

Lawrence Cherono will return to Boston Marathon to defend his title when the event goes down on April 20.

Cherono, who clinched the Chicago Marathon title in October last year faces a stellar cast at one of the oldest city marathons in the world.

He will face three other Boston champions, two-time winner and world champion Lelisa Desisa, 2018 victor Yuki Kawauchi of Japan and 2017 world champion Geoffrey Kirui.

Uganda’s 2012 Olympic champion and 2013 world champion Stephen Kiprotich will make his Boston Marathon debut.

Albert Korir, the runner-up in New York last year and Dejene Debela, runner-up to Cherono by one second in Chicago, will be chasing their first World Marathon Majors victory.

Cherono will be joined by compatriots Kenneth Kipkemoi, Philemon Rono, Benson Kipruto and Felix Kandie.

Other athletes in the field include Japan’s Kentaro Nakamoto and Shoya Osaki, Ethiopia’s Fikre Bekele and Eritrea’s Abrar Osman.

Jemal Yimer, the Ethiopian record-holder for the half marathon and winner of the recent Houston Half Marathon, will make his highly anticipated marathon debut.

In the women's category, two-time world champion Edna Kiplagat will fly the Kenyan flag alongside 2015 victor Caroline Rotich as well as two-time world half-marathon medallist Mary Ngugi.

Others include Magdalene Masai and Caroline Kipkirui who will be making her marathon debut.

Masai won in Toronto last year while Kipkirui is the seventh-fastest woman of all time for the half marathon. Four-time New York and London winner Mary Keitany had accepted an invitation to run in Boston, but she is currently sidelined with a back injury.

The Kenyan contingent will face off with defending champion Worknesh Degefa of Ethiopia, USA’s 2018 champion Desiree Linden and Ethiopia’s Buzunesh Deba, who set the course record in 2014.

Challengers for the title include 2015 world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Mare Dibaba, 2017 world champion Rose Chelimo of Bahrain, and 2015 world 10,000m silver medallist Gelete Burka of Ethiopia.

Two-time Olympian Meskerem Assefa, fellow Ethiopian Yebrgual Melese and three-time Rome Marathon champion Rahma Tusa are also in the field, so too is Canada’s Krista Duchene, who finished third in Boston in 2018.