Kenya: Lokedi, Jepchirchir, Kosgei, Obiri in Clash of Titans in New York

New York, Usa — Letesenbet Gidey, Peres Jepchirchir, Brigid Kosgei, Sharon Lokedi and Hellen Obiri star in a stacked women’s field for the TCS New York City Marathon, a World Athletics Platinum Label road race, on Sunday.

Expect fireworks as some of the all-time greats clash on the hunt for another major victory. In an open men’s race, Tamirat Tola goes up against Shura Kitata, Albert Korir, Cam Levins, Abdi Nageeye and Maru Teferi.

Kenya’s Lokedi won when making her marathon debut in New York last year, pulling away in the final two miles to triumph in 2:23:23. She returns to defend her title but given the strength of her opposition, it will be far from a walk in the park.

“Last year, I came into the TCS New York City Marathon with the goal of being in the thick of the race, and the result was better than I could have ever hoped for,” Lokedi said when being announced for the race. “This year, I’m returning with a different mindset, hungry to defend my title and race against the fastest women in the world.”

They include former world record-holder Kosgei, Olympic champion Jepchirchir, Boston Marathon winner Obiri and Gidey, the 10,000m and half marathon world record-holder who ran 2:16:49 last year in Valencia.

After marathon wins in Chicago, London and Tokyo, Kenya’s Kosgei makes her debut in New York.

The 2:14:04 she ran in Chicago in 2019 remained the world record until Tigist Assefa clocked 2:11:53 in Berlin in September and now Kosgei sits third on the world all-time list after Sifan Hassan improved to 2:13:44 in Chicago last month.

Ready to embrace the hills of New York, Kosgei returns to marathon action for the first time since April, when she dropped out of London. Prior to that, she won the Tokyo title in a course record of 2:16:02 in March 2022.

Her compatriot Jepchirchir’s most recent marathon victory was also achieved in 2022, when she won in Boston in the April. She finished third in London a year later and most recently retained her world half marathon title in Riga.

Jepchirchir, who ran 2:17:16 in Valencia in 2020, also won the Great North Run half marathon in September but at the pre event press conference in New York she explained how she experienced a calf issue during training last weekend so will wait until the day before the race to decide whether she will line up.

If she does take to the start line, she will be joined by her compatriot Obiri and Ethiopia’s Gidey.

Obiri finished sixth when making her marathon debut last year in New York but the two-time world 5000m champion went on to win in Boston and will be hoping to use that experience to her benefit.

“I’m coming to New York this year with more confidence and in search of a title,” she said.

Gidey’s 2:16:49 in Valencia in December was the fastest women’s marathon debut in history and she was second on that occasion.

Now her focus is on victory. Gidey’s first race after that marathon debut was at the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst in February but a fall in the closing stages, while she was leading, dashed her gold medal dreams.

She returned to the podium at the World Championships in Budapest, finishing second in the 10,000m.

It is not only that quintet who will hope to make an impact in New York. The field also features Kenya’s two-time world champion Edna Kiplagat, who finished fourth in Boston and New York last year, plus 2021 Boston runner-up Mary Ngugi-Cooper and 2021 New York runner-up Viola Cheptoo, as well as USA’s Molly Huddle and Kellyn Taylor, who finished in the top eight in New York in 2017, 2019 and 2021.

-Tola fastest man in the race-

Tola is the fastest in the men’s field with his PB of 2:03:39 recorded in Amsterdam in 2021, but competing on a course like New York’s is about more than quick times.

Ethiopia’s 2022 world champion does have relevant experience, however, as he finished fourth in New York in 2018 and 2019.

After his world title win in Oregon, he finished third in London in April and defended his world crown in Budapest but dropped out when no longer in contention.

He rebounded with a win at the Great North Run in September and now aims for the fourth marathon win of his career so far.

Looking to deny him will be his compatriot Kitata, as he aims to go one better than his runner-up finishes in New York last year and in 2018. The 2:06:01 he ran in 2018 remains the third-fastest time in race history, while he also won in London in 2020 but his most recent marathon result is the 14th-place finish he recorded in Boston in April.

Kenya’s Korir returns looking to regain the title he won in 2021. Also runner-up in New York in 2019, he finished fourth in Boston earlier this year and seventh in New York last year.

Dutch record-holder Nageeye finished third in New York last year, following a fifth-place finish in 2021 – the year in which he claimed Olympic silver in Sapporo. He also did not finish his race at the World Championships in Budapest, but clocked 2:05:32 to place third in Rotterdam in April.

There was medal success for Israel’s Teferi in Budapest, however, as the European silver medallist became the world silver medallist. He races the New York Marathon for the first time but did contest the city’s half marathon in March, finishing 13th in 1:03:41.

North American record-holder Levins, meanwhile, will hope to build on his fifth-place finish in Tokyo, where he ran that area record of 2:05:36 in March.

They will be joined on the start line by Ethiopia’s Jemal Yimer, who finished fourth in the half marathon at the World Road Running Championships in Riga and was third in the 2021 Boston Marathon.

Edward Cheserek, who won the Copenhagen Half Marathon in 59:11 in September, makes his marathon debut.

Leading entries


Brigid Kosgei (KEN) 2:14:04

Letesenbet Gidey (ETH) 2:16:49

Peres Jepchirchir (KEN) 2:17:16

Edna Kiplagat (KEN) 2:19:50

Mary Ngugi-Cooper (KEN) 2:20:22

Hellen Obiri (KEN) 2:21:38

Viola Cheptoo (KEN) 2:22:44

Sharon Lokedi (KEN) 2:23:23

Kellyn Taylor (USA) 2:24:29

Fantu Jifar (ETH) 2:25:45

Molly Huddle (USA) 2:26:33

Solange Jesus (POR) 2:28:15

Sydney Devore (USA) 2:31:08

Marie-Ange Brumelot (FRA) 2:33:19

Meriah Earle (USA) 2:34:19


Tamirat Tola (ETH) 2:03:39

Shura Kitata (ETH) 2:04:49

Abdi Nageeye (NED) 2:04:56

Cam Levins (CAN) 2:05:36

Maru Teferi (ISR) 2:06:43

Koen Naert (BEL) 2:06:56

Iliass Aouani (ITA) 2:07:16

Albert Korir (KEN) 2:08:03

Zouhair Talbi (MAR) 2:08:35

Hendrik Pfeiffer (GER) 2:08:48

Yenew Alamirew Getahun (ETH) 2:08:56

Jemal Yimer (ETH) 2:08:58

Elkanah Kibet (USA) 2:09:07

Futsum Zienasellassie (USA) 2:09:40

Jia Erenjia (CHN) 2:09:54

Nathan Martin (USA) 2:10:45

Reed Fischer (USA) 2:10:54

Tyler McCandless (USA) 2:12:28

John Raneri (USA) 2:12:33

Joe Whelan (USA) 2:13:39

Sydney Gidabuday (USA) 2:14:48

Ryan Root (USA) 2:15:22

Ashenafi Ketema Birhana (ETH) 2:15:27

Thomas Slattery (USA) 2:15:32

Andreas Myhre Sjurseth (NOR) 2:16:05

Wesley Robinson (USA) 2:16:08

Garret Lee (USA) 2:16:57

Andrew Butchart (GBR) debut

Edward Cheserek (KEN) debut


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