By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat of
Kenya is feeling no pressure even as organizers of the Boston
marathon announced an elite team that has won 14 global
championship medals and 17 World Marathon Majors titles.
Ten of the athletes
in the women’s elite field have faster best times than 2:23,
including Olympic silver medallist Eunice Kirwa of Bahrain and
three-time Dubai Marathon winner Aselefech Mergia of Ethiopia.
Boston marathon will be held on April 16.
“It is always this
caliber of athletes you expect in top city marathons. I have
raced them before and excelled and I believe I have what it
takes to take them down again in 2018,” Kiplagat said on Friday
“The pressure is not
on me in my quest to retain the title. I have won here before
and I know the course very well.”
Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia will return to the scene of her 2014
triumph, while two-time Frankfurt Marathon winner Mamitu Daska
will be making her third appearance in Boston.
Caroline Rotich, who
won the 2015 Boston Marathon, returns and is joined by fellow
Kenyan Gladys Chesir, who makes her Boston debut after finishing
runner-up in Amsterdam last year.
and world champion Geoffrey Kirui (2:06:27) heads the
international field for the Boston Marathon. Tamirat Tola
(2:04:11) of Ethiopia is the fastest of six sub-2:06 athletes in
the elite men’s field ahead of teammates and former winners Lemi
Berhanu (2:04:33) and Lelisa Desisa (2:04:45).
athlete is Norbert Kigen (2:05:13), Wilson Chebet (2:05:27),
Evans Chebet (2:05:30) and Felix Kandie (2:06:03).
Also in the field is
frequent racer Yuki Kawauchi (2:08:14) and German record-holder
Arne Gabius (2:08:33).
Marathon winner Wilson Chebet will be making his fifth
appearance in Boston.
The Kenyan, who has
a best of 2:05:27, finished fifth in Boston last year but has
twice made it on to the podium, placing second in 2014 and third
Kigen, Evans Chebet, Felix Kandie and Philemon Rono - all of
whom set lifetime bests last year - will be making their Boston
Elkanah Kibet, the
top US finisher in the marathon at the 2017 World Championships,
and U.S. marathon champion Timothy Ritchie have also been added
to the field.