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Posted: February 19, 2009  :

(RRW) Athletics: Boston Marathon Completes Elite Fields

From David Monti

© 2009 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

Organizers of the Boston Marathon announced today that they have completed their elite fields for the 113th edition of the race scheduled for Monday, April 20.

In addition to defending champions, Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot of Kenya and Dire Tune of Ethiopia, and key USA challengers, Ryan Hall and Kara Goucher, who had been previously announced, elite athlete coordinator Pat Lynch has signed an additional group of strong challengers.

On the men's side, 2008 Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion Evans Cheruiyot of Kenya (2:06:25 PB), has been added along with Beijing Olympics fourth-placer and 2009 Chevron Houston Marathon champion Deribe Merga of Ethiopia (2:06:38). Other men who will toe the race's famous starting line in Hopkinton include Kenyans Daniel Rono (2:06:58), Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot (2:07:21), Timothy Cherigat (2:09:34), and Stephen Kiogora (2:08:24). Ethiopians Gashaw Melese Asfaw (2:08:03), Solomon Molla (2:08:46) and Abebe Dinkesa (debut) are also in the field.

In addition to Hall, another American Olympian, Brian Sell, has decided to run Boston again. Sell, who has a 2:10:47 personal best, was fourth at Boston in 2006, clocking 2:10:55. He was third at the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in New York City in 2007, and finished 22nd in the Olympic Games in 2:16:07. Jason Lehmkuhle, fifth at those same Olympic Trials in a personal best 2:12:54, also plans to run.

On the women's side, two Russian stars, Lidia Grigoryeva and Galina Bogomolova, should offer Tune a strong challenge. Grigoryeva won Chicago in 2008 and Boston in 2007, and has a personal best time of 2:25:10. The tiny Bogomolova is the Russian record holder with a 2:20:47 to her credit.

The 2009 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon champion, Bezunesh Bekele of Ethiopia (2:23:09 PB) is definitely a contender for victory, and so is veteran Salina Kosgei of Kenya (2:23:22) who finished 10th in the Beijing Olympics. Helena Loshanyang Kirop of Kenya (2:25:01 PB), Atsede Habtamu of Ethiopia (2:25:17) and Alice Timbilili of Kenya (2:26:45) are also in the field.

Two-time American Olympian Elva Dryer, 37, has also been contracted for the race. Her marathon personal best is 2:31:48 from Chicago in 2006.

John Hancock Financial, the principal sponsor of the race, provides the funding for Boston's elite fields.

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