Ethiopian Desisa seeks third Boston
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[April 18, 2016]
By Svea Herbst-Bayliss
BOSTON (Reuters) - Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa
will bid for his third Boston Marathon title on Monday against a clutch
of fast East African competitors, including two other previous winners
Most top U.S. marathoners are sitting Boston out after February's
Olympic trials, but Kenyan and Ethiopian officials have yet to pick
their teams for the Rio Games in August and will consider the Boston
Known as a tactical racer with a proven sprint finish, Desisa posted
a personal best of 2:04:45 in Dubai in 2013. He won Boston in
2:09:17 last year and also claimed victory in 2013, the year bombs
ripped through the crowd at the finish line.
Fellow Ethiopian Lemi Berhanu Hayle, who notched a personal best of
2:04:33 in Dubai in January, has a similarly strong record, having
run just five marathons and won three.
Kenya's Geoffrey Mutai enters the race with the fastest personal
time of 2:03:02, a course record he set with his 2011 Boston win.
Kenyan Wesley Korirm whose personal best is 2:06:13, is returning
for a fourth time after having won in 2012.
Meb Keflezighi, who became the first American to win Boston in more
than three decades when he scored an emotional victory in 2014 on
the anniversary of the bombings, said he would sit Boston out to
prepare for the Olympic marathon.
On the women's side, Kenyan Caroline Rotich will defend last year's
crown but will face pressure from Ethiopia's Tiki Gelana, who won
gold at the 2012 Olympics.
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American Neely Spence Gracey marks her marathon debut in Boston with
personal connections. She was born 26 years ago on race day as her
father, Olympian Steve Spence, ran the course.
The men and women's winners will receive $150,000. Some 30,000
people plan to participate in the race's 120th running.
(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Richard Valdmanis and
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