Defending champions Obiri and Chebet take on strong opposition in Boston | PREVIEWS | World Athletics

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Kenya’s Hellen Obiri and Evans Chebet will defend their Boston Marathon titles against formidable fields at the World Athletics Platinum Label road race on Monday (15).

Obiri – the only woman in history to have won senior world titles indoors, outdoors and at cross country – made her marathon debut in New York in 2022, clocking 2:25:49, a time that remains her official PB (as performances in Boston are not record-eligible)

Five months later, she won on Boston’s downhill course in 2:21:38, then triumphed in a tactical race in New York at the end of 2023 in 2:27:23.

Her only race so far this year came in January at the Houston Half Marathon, where she finished second in 1:06:07. Having won her past two marathons, the two-time world 5000m champion will be keen to make it three in a row on Monday.

Ethiopia’s Tadu Teshome and Hiwot Gebrekidan are the fastest women in the field, having both set sub-2:18 PBs in Valencia in recent years.

Teshome’s last race was at the Shanghai Marathon in November, where she finished sixth in 2:25:05 – some way down on her 2:17:36 PB from Valencia one year prior. Gebrekidan was eighth in Boston last year, then went on to finish third in Valencia in a PB of 2:17:59.

Other Ethiopian women in the line-up include 2015 world 5000m silver medallist Senbere Teferi and former world half marathon record-holder Ababel Yeshaneh, a previous podium finisher in Boston, New York and Chicago.

Obiri is one of four past Boston winners who’ll take to the startline in the women’s race, alongside two-time champion Edna Kiplagat, 2015 winner Caroline Rotich and 2018 victor Desiree Linden.

Kiplagat, the 2017 and 2021 champion, will be making her seventh appearance at the Boston Marathon. The 44-year-old, who has a PB of 2:19:50, finished seventh at last year’s New York Marathon.

Other leading Kenyans in the field include 2022 world marathon silver medallist Judith Korir, 2022 New York champion Sharon Lokedi, 2015 world silver medallist Helah Kiprop, and 2014 world half marathon silver medallist Mary Ngugi-Cooper.

Surprise world bronze medallist Fatima Gardadi will be making her first ever appearance in a World Marathon Majors race. Before finishing third in Budapest last year, the Moroccan had won in Marrakech in 2022 and Rabat in 2023. She set a PB of 2:24:12 to finish second in Xiamen earlier this year.

Linden and Rotich feature in a US contingent that also includes Sara Hall, Emma Bates – who finished fifth last year – and Jenny Simpson. Simpson, the 2011 world 1500m champion, made her marathon debut at the US Olympic Trials in February but did not finish, so she was keen to put her newfound endurance fitness towards another race.

Evans Chebet heads to Boston looking to become the first man to win three back-to-back Boston Marathon titles since Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot in 2008.

In fact, only four men in total have achieved that feat, with Clarence DeMar (1922-1924), Bill Rodgers (1978-1980) and Cosmas Ndeti (1993-1995) preceding Cheruiyot’s triple.

Chebet won in Boston in 2022 in 2:06:51, then successfully defended his title last year in 2:05:54 – his sixth victory from his past seven marathons.

But Sisay Lemma will take to the start line as the fastest man in the field. The Ethiopian won in Valencia in December in 2:01:48, making him the fourth-fastest man in history.

It was Lemma’s first marathon victory since his triumph in London in 2021, but his record in Boston is not quite so strong. He didn’t finish in 2017, then placed 30th in 2019. He’ll be hoping that Monday’s race will be third time lucky.

Tanzania’s Gabriel Geay, who was runner-up in Boston last year, also returns to the US city. He has an identical PB to Chebet – 2:03:00 – and, like the Kenyan, it was also set in Valencia.

Other men in the field with sub-2:05 PBs are Kenya’s 2016 Paris Marathon winner Cyprian Kotut (2:04:34), Ethiopia’s Haftu Teklu (2:04:43) and Shura Kitata (2:04:49), the runner-up in London and New York in 2018.

Albert Korir won the 2021 New York Marathon and 2019 Houston Marathon, so he’ll be keen to notch up a marathon victory in a third US city on Monday. He has competed in Boston twice before, finishing sixth in 2022 and fourth last year.

Former Japanese record-holder Suguru Osako and Norwegian record-holder Sondre Moen are also in the field, as is Morocco’s Zouhair Talbi, winner of this year’s Houston Marathon in a course record 2:06:39. Talbi was fifth in Boston last year, finishing one place ahead of Eliud Kipchoge.

Elite fields

Women
Tadu Teshome (ETH) 2:17:36
Hiwot Gebrekidan (ETH) 2:17:59
Judith Korir (KEN) 2:18:20
Meseret Belete (ETH) 2:18:21
Tiruye Mesfin (ETH) 2:18:47
Worknesh Edesa (ETH) 2:18:51
Senbere Teferi (ETH) 2:19:21
Dera Dida (ETH) 2:19:24
Edna Kiplagat (KEN) 2:19:50
Mary Ngugi-Cooper (KEN) 2:20:22
Sara Hall (USA) 2:20:32
Ababel Yeshaneh (ETH) 2:20:51
Vibian Chepkirui (KEN) 2:20:59
Siranesh Yirga (ETH) 2:21:08
Helah Kiprop (KEN) 2:21:27
Buze Diriba (ETH) 2:23:11
Emma Bates (USA) 2:23:18
Caroline Rotich (USA) 2:23:22
Sharon Lokedi (KEN) 2:23:23
Fatima Gardadi (MAR) 2:24:12
Angie Orjuela (COL) 2:25:35
Fabienne Konigstein (GER) 2:25:48
Hellen Obiri (KEN) 2:25:49
Desiree Linden (USA) 2:25:55
Dominique Scott (RSA) 2:27:31
Jenny Simpson (USA) n/a

Men
Sisay Lemma (ETH) 2:01:48
Evans Chebet (KEN) 2:03:00
Gabriel Geay (TAN) 2:03:00
Cyprian Kotut (KEN) 2:04:34
Haftu Teklu (ETH) 2:04:43
Shura Kitata (ETH) 2:04:49
John Korir (KEN) 2:05:01
Mohamed Esa (ETH) 2:05:05
Suguru Osako (JPN) 2:05:29
Sondre Moen (NOR) 2:05:48
Zouhair Talbi (MAR) 2:06:39
Isaac Mpofu (ZIM) 2:06:48
Albert Korir (KEN) 2:06:57
Kento Otsu (JPN) 2:08:15
Ryoma Takeuchi (JPN) 2:08:40
Sam Chelanga (USA) 2:08:50
Segundo Jami (ECU) 2:09:05
Tsegay Tuemay (ERI) 2:09:07
Matt McDonald (USA) 2:09:49
Elkanah Kibet (USA) 2:10:02
CJ Albertson (USA) 2:10:04
David Nilsson (SWE) 2:10:09
Tristan Woodfine (CAN) 2:10:39
Yemane Haileselassie (ERI) debut

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