Boston Marathon Elite fields announced by John Hancock Financial

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40 Elite Athletes From 14 Countries Invited For 117th Running on April 15

Article courtesy of Boston Athletic Association

BOSTON, MA, January 15, 2013 – In its 28th year as principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon, John Hancock Financial today announced the elite field for the 117th running of the Boston Marathon on April 15. A complete field list follows.
Reigning champions Wesley Korir and Sharon Cherop, both of Kenya, return to defend their titles, but will be fiercely challenged by a talented international field of Olympians, World Marathon Majors champions of Chicago, New York City and Boston, and multiple global marathon winners of Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Cologne, Daegu, Dubai, Eindhoven, Frankfurt, Johannesburg, Hamburg, Houston, Istanbul, Krakow, Los Angeles, Milan, Rome, St. Paul, Soweto, Toronto, Turin and the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Last year Korir and Cherop battled not only one of the strongest fields ever assembled, but also blistering race day temperatures topping 85F. Korir prevailed over countryman Levy Matebo in the final mile and Cherop used past experience to surge on the final turn to win the women’s race by two seconds.

Watch 2012 Boston Marathon Highlights: http://youtu.be/0l1HViI5wYM

Challenging Korir for the coveted laurel wreath this year is a fast group of men including 2011 Boston runnerup and 2011 Chicago champion Moses Mosop of Kenya. Mosop’s 2:03:06 Boston performance was the secondfastest time ever run over the marathon distance. Joining him in the chase is two-time Olympian and 2010 New York City winner Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia. Gebremariam has experience on the course, finishing third in 2011 in 2:04:53. Matebo has also committed to return to Boston to improve upon his second place finish last year and brings additional credentials as marathon champion in Barcelona and Brussels.

American Ryan Hall, who owns the 2:04:58 U.S. course record in Boston, and countryman Meb Keflezighi, past New York City winner and Olympic silver medalist, will work together to bring back a title for the U.S. Both Hall and Keflezighi have finished as high as third in Boston.

Former Boston champion and former course-record-holder Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot of Kenya also returns to the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team and will be joined by the 2012 Eindhoven course-record-holder Dickson Chumba, also of Kenya. Additional talent from Ethiopia includes 2011 Los Angeles champion and course-record-holder Markos Geneti, 2012 Paris and Mumbai runner-up Raji Assefa and the 2012 Hamburg and 2011 Toronto winner Shami Abdullah Dawit.
Guor Marial from South Sudan is also in the field. Marial was granted refugee status in the U.S. after fleeing Sudan during the Civil War. Eight of his brothers and sisters were killed in the conflict. Marial, now a U.S. resident, went to high school in Concord, New Hampshire, and college at Iowa State. After qualifying for the 2012 Olympics, but not yet having a country to run for, the International Olympic Committee honored him with entry to participate under the Olympic Flag.

Also in contention for the crown are four-time U.S. Olympian Abdi Abdirahman who will make his debut on the Boston course as will Australian Olympian Jeffrey Hunt and Canadians Robin Watson and two-time Olympian Eric Gillis.

Americans Jason Hartmann and Fernando Cabada are also contenders. Hartmann finished fourth last year and Cabada holds the American record in the 25K. Joining them to round out the deep field is half marathon specialist Lucas Rotich of Kenya, who holds a 59:44 half-marathon best and countryman Micah Kogo, a 59:07 half-marathoner, 10,000m Beijing bronze medalist, and former 10K world-record-holder (27:01).

2013 JOHN HANCOCK ELITE ATHLETE TEAM

MEN PERSONAL BEST (LOCATION) COUNTRY
Moses Mosop 2:03:06 (Boston, 2011) Kenya
Gebregziabher “Gebre” Gebremariam 2:04:53 (Boston, 2011) Ethiopia
Markos Geneti 2:04:54 (Dubai, 2012) Ethiopia
Ryan Hall 2:04:58 (Boston, 2011) United States
Levy Matebo 2:05:16 (Frankfurt, 2011) Kenya
Shami Abdullah Dawit 2:05:42 (Dubai, 2012) Ethiopia
Dickson Chumba 2:05:46 (Eindhoven, 2012) (CR) Kenya
Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot 2:05:52 (Boston, 2010) Kenya
Wesley Korir 2:06:13 (Chicago, 2012) Kenya
Raji Assefa 2:06:24 (Paris, 2012) Ethiopia
Abdihakem “Abdi” Abdirahman 2:08:56 (Chicago, 2006) United States
Mebrahtom “Meb” Keflezighi 2:09:08 (Houston, 2012) United States
Jeffrey Hunt 2:11:00 (Beppu, 2010) Australia
Jason Hartmann 2:11:06 (Chicago, 2010) United States
Eric Gillis 2:11:28 (Toronto, 2011) Canada
Fernando Cabada 2:11:53 (Houston, 2012) United States
Guor Marial 2:12:55 (San Diego, 2012) (NR) South Sudan
Robin Watson 2:13:37 (Rotterdam, 2012) Canada
Micah Kogo 59:07 (HM) (South Shields, 2012) Kenya
Lucas Rotich 59:44 (HM) (Den Haag, 2011) Kenya
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