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Champs Kiplagat, Kirui put title on line at Boston Marathon

Xinhua,December 07, 2017 Adjust font size:

NAIROBI, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- Defending champions Edna Kiplagat and Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya will return to Boston marathon course to fight for their titles in April.

In her Boston debut earlier this year, two-time world champion Kiplagat made a decisive move with 10 kilometers remaining and went on to win in 2:21:52, the fourth fastest winning time in the history of the race.

After Boston, she made her fourth World Championships appearance and secured the silver medal. She rounded out her season with a fourth-place finish at the New York City Marathon.

"After racing all around the world, it was so special for me to run on Boston' s historic course and experience the Boston traditions with my family," Kiplagat said on Thursday.

"I could see first-hand how special the city of Boston, all the towns along the course, and the community is to so many people. And of course, I look forward to the challenge next April of once again racing against the world' s best athletes," he added.

Like his Kenyan compatriot Kiplagat, Kirui also made his Boston debut earlier this year and faced a deep international field of major championship medalists.

Kirui ran a strategic race and, in only his third marathon, ultimately prevailed, becoming the first Kenyan winner since 2012.

Four months later, at the IAAF World Championships London 2017, Kirui decisively won the gold medal.

"The 2017 was a wonderful year for me with winning both Boston and the World Championships," said Kirui.

"I'm happy to return to Boston to defend my title. The tremendous atmosphere, the great history and legendary course all suit me very well," he added.

"In their Boston debuts last April, both Geoffrey and Edna raced with confidence from the start, pulled away late, and solidified their spots in Boston Marathon lore," said Boston Athletic Association CEO Tom Grilk. "We are excited to welcome these world-class athletes back."

With the Commonwealth Games coming early in April 2018, it means the two together with Olympic Champion Eliud Kipchoge, who has confirmed he will race in London also in April, will miss to represent Kenya at the Gold Coast, in Australia. Enditem