Global gold medallists and major marathon winners to clash in New York

World marathon champion Gotytom Gebreslase, world cross country gold medallist Hellen Obiri, Boston Marathon winner Evans Chebet and defending champion Albert Korir will clash in two competitive races at the TCS New York City Marathon, a World Athletics Elite Platinum Label event, on Sunday (6).

Ethiopia’s Gebreslase won last year’s Berlin Marathon on her debut at the distance and went on to finish third in the Tokyo Marathon in March before her world title win in Oregon in July.

But the New York City Marathon is a different sort of challenge and Kenya’s Obiri will be hoping that her varied experience will play to her advantage on the undulating course.

The 32-year-old is a two-time world 5000m champion and claimed world 10,000m silver in Oregon, while she won the world cross country title in 2019.

“I know New York is a tough course, but I hope my experience on track, road and cross country will help me navigate the ups and downs,” said Obiri, whose most recent race was last month’s Great North Run half marathon, which she won in 1:07:05. She also set a half marathon PB of 1:04:22 in Ras Al Khaimah in February.

Gebreslase is not the only world marathon gold medallist in the women’s field, as 2011 and 2013 world champion Edna Kiplagat is also in the line-up, while her Kenyan compatriot Viola Cheptoo returns after her runner up finish last year in 2:22:44, the fourth-fastest women’s time ever achieved in the New York City Marathon.

Last year’s winner Peres Jepchirchir had also been due to race but has withdrawn due to injury.

Chebet is the quickest of the men’s entries thanks to the 2:03:00 he ran to win the 2020 Valencia Marathon, a time that places him seventh on the world all-time list. He finished fourth in London the following year and then won in Boston in April in 2:06:51, one of the 10 marathons of his career so far in which he has finished first or second.

Korir, meanwhile, is back in action after a sixth-place finish in Boston, his win in New York last year having been achieved in 2:08:22, 19 seconds off his PB set in 2019, the same year he secured a second-place finish in New York.

Dutch Olympic silver medallist Abdi Nageeye is also among the quicker runners in the line-up along with Japan’s Suguru Osako, Switzerland’s Tadesse Abraham and USA’s cum two-time Olympic medallist Galen Rupp who won the Chicago Marathon in 2017 and was runner-up in Boston that same year.

Like defending champion Korir, Morocco’s Mohamed El Aaraby also returns to New York, having finished second last year in 2:09:06.


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