Gotytom Gebreslase wins the Berlin Marathon (© Getty Images)
World marathon champion Gotytom Gebreslase, world cross country gold medallist Hellen Obiri, Boston Marathon winner Evans Chebet and defending champion Albert Korir will clash in two competitive races at the TCS New York City Marathon, a World Athletics Elite Platinum Label event, on Sunday (6).
Ethiopia’s Gebreslase won last year’s Berlin Marathon on her debut at the distance and went on to finish third in the Tokyo Marathon in March before her world title win in Oregon in July. Clocking a 2:18:11 PB, the 27-year-old broke the championship record to get global gold and she lines up as the second quickest in the field in New York. Fastest is Israel’s Lonah Salpeter, who claimed world bronze behind Gebreslase in Oregon and ran her PB of 2:17:45 to win the 2020 Tokyo Marathon.
But the New York City Marathon is a different sort of challenge and Kenya’s Obiri will be hoping that her varied experience will play to her advantage on the undulating course. The 32-year-old is a two-time world 5000m champion and claimed world 10,000m silver in Oregon, while she won the world cross country title in 2019.
“I know New York is a tough course, but I hope my experience on track, road and cross country will help me navigate the ups and downs,” said Obiri, whose most recent race was last month’s Great North Run half marathon, which she won in 1:07:05. She also set a half marathon PB of 1:04:22 in Ras Al Khaimah in February.
Gebreslase is not the only world marathon gold medallist in the women’s field, as 2011 and 2013 world champion Edna Kiplagat is also in the line-up, while her Kenyan compatriot Viola Cheptoo returns after her runner up finish last year in 2:22:44, the fourth-fastest women’s time ever achieved in the New York City Marathon. Last year’s winner Peres Jepchirchir had also been due to race but has withdrawn due to injury.
Keira D'Amato and Desiree Linden lead the US contenders. D’Amato ran her PB of 2:19:12 to win in Houston at the start of this year while Linden won the 2018 Boston Marathon and they will be joined on the start line by Emma Bates and Lindsay Flanagan.
The field also features Ethiopia’s 2015 world 5000m silver medallist Senbere Teferi, Kenya’s Caroline Rotich, Australia’s Eloise Wellings and Jessica Stenson, and Japan’s Mao Uesugi, runner up in this year’s Osaka Women's Marathon.
Chebet is the quickest of the men’s entries thanks to the 2:03:00 he ran to win the 2020 Valencia Marathon, a time that places him seventh on the world all-time list. He finished fourth in London the following year and then won in Boston in April in 2:06:51, one of the 10 marathons of his career so far in which he has finished first or second.
Korir, meanwhile, is back in action after a sixth-place finish in Boston, his win in New York last year having been achieved in 2:08:22, 19 seconds off his PB set in 2019, the same year he secured a second-place finish in New York.
Such is the quality of the field, Korir is only 12th fastest when it comes to personal bests. Ethiopia’s 2020 London Marathon champion Shura Kitata and Brazil’s South American record-holder Daniel Do Nascimento are pretty evenly matched on PBs, 2018 New York City Marathon runner up Kitata having run 2:04:49 that same year in London and Do Nascimento having clocked 2:04:51 in Seoul in April. Dutch Olympic silver medallist Abdi Nageeye is also among the quicker runners in the line-up along with Japan’s Suguru Osako, Switzerland’s Tadesse Abraham and USA’s Galen Rupp.
Two-time Olympic medallist Rupp won the Chicago Marathon in 2017 and was runner-up in Boston that same year. He also finished second in Chicago in 2021. He’ll be joined by his US compatriots Leonard Korir, Scott Fauble, Abdi Abdirahman, Marty Hehir and Shadrack Kipchirchir, who makes his marathon debut.
Like defending champion Korir, Morocco’s Mohamed El Aaraby also returns to New York, having finished second last year in 2:09:06.
Lonah Chemtai Salpeter (ISR) 2:17:45
Gotytom Gebreslase (ETH) 2:18:11
Keira D'Amato (USA) 2:19:12
Edna Kiplagat (KEN) 2:19:50
Des Linden (USA) 2:22:28
Mao Uesugi (JPN) 2:22:29
Viola Cheptoo (KEN) 2:22:44
Emma Bates (USA) 2:23:18
Caroline Rotich (KEN) 2:23:22
Senbere Teferi (ETH) 2:24:11
Lindsay Flanagan (USA) 2:24:35
Dakotah Lindwurm (USA) 2:25:01
Eloise Wellings (AUS) 2:25:10
Jessica Stenson (AUS) 2:25:15
Gerda Steyn (RSA) 2:25:28
Nell Rojas (USA) 2:25:57
Annie Frisbie (USA) 2:26:18
Aliphine Tuliamuk (USA) 2:26:50
Stephanie Bruce (USA) 2:27:47
Roberta Groner (USA) 2:29:09
Molly Grabill (USA) 2:29:17
Ruth Van der Meijden (NED) 2:29:30
Sharon Lokedi (KEN) debut
Hellen Obiri (KEN) debut
Evans Chebet (KEN) 2:03:00
Shura Kitata (ETH) 2:04:49
Daniel Do Nascimento (BRA) 2:04:51
Abdi Nageeye (NED) 2:04:56
Suguru Osako (JPN) 2:05:29
Galen Rupp (USA) 2:06:07
Tadesse Abraham (SUI) 2:06:38
Mohamed El Aaraby (MAR) 2:06:55
Olivier Irabaruta (BDI) 2:07:13
Tetsuya Yoroizaka (JPN) 2:07:55
Leonard Korir (USA) 2:07:56
Albert Korir (KEN) 2:08:03
Girma Bekele Gebre (ETH) 2:08:23
Scott Fauble (USA) 2:08:52
Abdi Abdirahman (USA) 2:08:56
Marty Hehir (USA) 2:08:59
Daniele Meucci (ITA) 2:09:25
Jared Ward (USA) 2:09:25
Reed Fischer (USA) 2:10:42
Nathan Martin (USA) 2:11:05
Matt Llano (USA) 2:11:14
Frank Futselaar (NED) 2:11:30
Matt Baxter (NZL) debut
Shadrack Kipchirchir (USA) debut