25 September 2013

Kenya Top Field

Photo: Victah Sailer/IAAF
Kenya's Wilson Kipsang sets new world marathon record in Berlin.

A commanding collection of the world's best marathon runners will vie for the New York and 2012-2013 World Marathon Majors titles on November 3 at the 2013 ING New York City Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.

Reigning champion and course record-holder Geoffrey Mutai will take on world and Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich, while defending champion Firehiwot Dado will battle two-time world champion Edna Kiplagat and Olympic silver medallist Priscah Jeptoo.

Kenya's Mutai set the course record of 2:05:05 when winning in New York in 2011. Earlier that year, the 31-year-old ran the fastest Marathon ever in a time of 2:03:02 at the Boston Marathon. He was the 2011-12 World Marathon Majors series champion, clinching the title with a 2:04:15 victory at the 2012 Berlin Marathon.

"I feel I am already well prepared," said Mutai. "I am confident and looking forward to challenging myself with my own course record set in 2011."

This will be the first time that Mutai will face Kiprotich over 26.2 miles. The Ugandan is just the second man in history to win both Olympic gold and World Championships gold in the Marathon.

Their toughest opposition could come from last year's Boston Marathon champion Wesley Korir, whose PB of 2:06:13 makes him the third-fastest man in the field.

Other top international men announced for the race include 2012 Paris Marathon winner Stanley Biwott, 2012 New York Half-marathon winner Peter Kirui, 2002 European champion Jose Manuel Martinez, popular Japanese runner Yuki Kawauchi, European silver medallist Daniele Meucci, and 2009 World 3000m Steeplechase medallist Bob Tahri.

In the womens categorey Defending champion Dado's winning time of 2:23:15 in 2011 was the fastest ever achieved by an Ethiopian woman on the streets of New York. The 29-year-old is a three-time winner of the Rome Marathon, and notched up another victory in the Big Apple when winning the 2012 New York Half in a course record of 1:08:35.

Although Kiplagat has not previously raced against Dado in a Marathon, she has beaten her twice in other events, winning over 10km in New York last year and more recently at the San Diego Half Marathon in June this year.

The Kenyan - who won the 2010 New York Marathon - is also one of the most consistent marathon runners in the world, and this year became the first woman in history to successfully defend a World Marathon title.

"I had, of course, a wonderful experience to win the gold medal at Moscow last month, and now I am excited to finally be returning to NYC for the Marathon," said Kiplagat. "After being second in the World Marathon Majors standings for two consecutive years, I will, of course, do my best to secure the title this year."

But perhaps the most in-form athlete is Jeptoo. The Olympic silver medallist won this year's London Marathon in a world-leading time of 2:20:15. Last weekend the Kenyan clocked the third-fastest time in history for the Half-marathon, winning the Great North Run in 65:45 on a slightly downhill course.

Additional top international women announced include two-time New York Marathon champion Jelena Prokopcuka, 2011 New York Marathon runner-up Bizunesh Deba, 2013 Osaka champion Tetyana Gamera-Shmyrko, 2012 Osaka winner Risa Shigetomo, French record-holder Christelle Daunay, New Zealand record-holder Kim Smith, European 10,000m champion Ana Dulce Felix, Croatian record-holder Lisa Stublic, three-time Olympian Sabrina Mockenhaupt, Brazilian record-holder Adriana Da Silva, Burundi's Diane Nukuri-Johnson, and South American Half-marathon record-holder Yolanda Caballero.

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