Kenya’s Obiri leads star-studded line-up for 2024 Boston Marathon


The BAA Boston Marathon, set for April 15th, promises an electrifying race as Kenya’s Hellen Obiri prepares to defend her title at this World Athletics Platinum Label road race. Obiri, a two-time world 5000m champion, will be among four past Boston winners at the start line, including Edna Kiplagat, Worknesh Degefa, and Desiree Linden, creating a highly anticipated showdown of elite athletes.

Obiri, known for her remarkable versatility and endurance, is the only woman in history to have claimed senior world titles indoors, outdoors, and at cross country. Her marathon debut was made in New York in 2022, where she posted an impressive time of 2:25:49, which remains her personal best. However, it was in Boston, five months later, where she truly shone, winning the race with a time of 2:21:38. Obiri then went on to triumph tactically in New York at the end of 2023, clocking 2:27:23.

“I am excited to return to the 2024 Boston Marathon to try to defend my title,” said Obiri, a two-time Olympic silver medallist. “Boston is a historic race and I would like to add my name further to its history on April 15th. Winning such a historic marathon with my family waiting at the finish line was an amazing experience.”

The competition is fierce, with the fastest in the field, Ethiopia’s Worknesh Degefa, posing a significant challenge. Degefa, who won in Boston in 2019 and boasts a personal best of 2:15:51 from Valencia in 2023, is joined by fellow Ethiopians Tadu Teshome and Hiwot Gebrekidan, both sub-2:18 performers. Also from Ethiopia are Senbere Teferi, a 2015 world 5000m silver medallist, and former world half marathon record-holder Ababel Yeshaneh.

Edna Kiplagat, a two-time Boston champion, is making her seventh appearance at the marathon. With a personal best of 2:19:50, she finished seventh at the New York Marathon recently. Other Kenyan athletes in the lineup 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.

Adding international flavor to the race, Moroccan Fatima Gardadi, a surprise world bronze medallist, is set for her first appearance in a World Marathon Majors race. Gardadi, who has won marathons in Marrakech and Rabat, recently set a personal best of 2:24:12 in Xiamen.

The US contingent is led by Desiree Linden, alongside Emma Bates, who finished fifth in the previous year. This elite women’s field, brimming with talent and experience, sets the stage for an unforgettable marathon, with Obiri spearheading the challenge for the prestigious title.

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