Jepchirchir, Korir to lead New York Marathon field

Peres Jepchirchir wins the half marathon in Riga.[Courtesy]

Defending New York Marathon champion Sharon Lokedi leads a loaded women’s field that includes Olympic gold medallist Peres Jepchirchir, Boston Marathon winner Hellen Obiri and former world record holder Brigid Kosgei at the 53rd New York Marathon on Sunday.

Albert Korir, the 2021 winner, will carry Kenyan hopes after two-time winner Geoffrey Kamworor and Evans Chebet, the defending champion, withdrew from the race that takes athletes through the five boroughs of the Big Apple.

Locally, the New York City Marathon will also be celebrated in Iten at a specially organised Bank of Africa (BOA) “Viewerthon” at the Elgon Valley Resort, sponsored by BOA with elite and upcoming athletes as the chief guests.

The BOA “Viewerthons” are a series of events where the bank invites elite and upcoming athletes along with the local community to follow the Abbott World Marathon Majors races live from Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York while being taken through education programmes.

Edward Cheserek, who will be making his 42-kilometre debut, and 2021 champion Albert Korir are some of the Kenyans to watch in the men race.

Cheserek is a former New Jersey high school student and the most decorated athlete in USA’s NCAA history.

The 2023 World Athletics Championships marathon silver medalist Maru Teferi, two-time World Championships silver medalist Mosinet Geremew of Ethiopia, Olympic silver medalist Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands, two-time TCS New York City Marathon runner-up Shura Kitata of Ethiopia, North America’s marathon record-holder Cam Levins of Canada and 2023 NYC Half podium finisher Zouahir Talbi of Morocco will also compete.

In the women’s race, Lokedi and Boston Marathon champion Hellen Obiri, Olympic gold medalist and defending champion Peres Jepchirchir, and immediate former marathon world-record holder Brigid Kosgei are set to battle for top honours.

Edna Kiplagat, a former winner in New York City, Boston, London and World Championships Marathon, Olympian Viola Cheptoo Lagat and Mary Ngugi-Cooper are also in the line up.

“I believe that I have prepared well and having won the race in 2021 which was my first time in New York, I believe that I will be able to compete well and reclaim the title,” said Jepchirchir ahead of Sunday’s race.

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