NEW YORK (AP) — Albert Korir is joining fellow Kenyan runner Peres Jepchirchir in attempting to defend his title at the New York City Marathon.
Korir won the 50th edition of the five-borough race last November, two years after finishing second. He'll be joined in the men's field by 2021 runner-up Mohamed El Aaraby of Morocco, along with 2020 London Marathon winner Shura Kitata of Ethiopia and Kenyan runner Evans Chebet, according to New York Road Runners.
“I’m very happy to return to New York after my victory last year, but I also feel a great responsibility to defend my title,” Korir said in a statement. “It was surprising to me that the list of athletes who have returned to defend their title has very few names on it, but I am training very hard to join them. It is never easy, but I have the benefit of experience.”
Jepchirchir told The Associated Press in June that she planned to race New York again. She won last year's marathon four months after winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics, and she said she's eyeing the course record in NYC after finishing 8 seconds off the mark last year.
NYRR announced Wednesday that the women's field will also include last year's runner-up, Viola Cheptoo of Kenya. Ethiopia's Gotytom Gebreslase, Israel's Lonah Salpeter and Kenya's Hellen Obiri will each make their NYC Marathon debuts. Americans Des Linden, Sara Hall, Emma Bates, Aliphine Tuliamuk, Nell Rojas and Stephanie Bruce are also set to compete.
Gebreslase won the world championships marathon in Eugene, Oregon, last month, with Salpeter earning bronze.
Men's wheelchair champion Marcel Hug of Switzerland will seek his second straight marathon title and fifth overall, which would match Tatyana McFadden and Kurt Fearnley for the most by a wheelchair athlete. His top competition may be American Daniel Romanchuk, who was third last year after becoming the event's youngest winner in 2018 and repeating in 2019. The 2020 race was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Madison de Rozario of Australia will also try to defend her wheelchair crown in a field that includes McFadden — an American seeking her sixth title — and Switzerland's Manuela Schär — who has three previous victories.
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