The elite field for the 121st Boston Marathon has been announced. Six Boston Marathon champions and 15 top US runners are among the competitors in this year’s field. There will be 19 Olympians running on April 17.
Marathon world record-holder Dennis Kimetto leads a field of nine men who have lifetime bests under 2:05:30. He has won both Chicago and Tokyo, and his time of 2:02:57 in Berlin in 2014 is a world record. Kimetto also holds the world 25K record. Close on his heels will be seasoned runners and fellow Kenyans Emmanuel Mutai, Patrick Makau and Sammy Kitwara.
Defending champion Lemi Berhanu Hayle of Ethiopia will work with countrymen Yemane Tsegay, Dino Sefir and Sisay Lemma as he seeks to repeat. Tsegay finished third in Boston last year, Sefir and Lemma will be running Boston for the first time.
Four additional Kenyans will be in the mix. Wesley Korir, the 2012 Boston Marathon champion is joined by Wilson Chebet, a three-time Amsterdam winner and Rotterdam winner, who has finished second and third in Boston. Rising talents Geoffrey Kirui also seek a podium finish in their Boston debuts. Olympians Yared Asmeron of Eritrea, Cutbert Nyasango of Zimbabwe, and Eric Gillis of Canada also are in the field.
US elite men previously announced include 2014 Boston Marathon winner and 2004 Olympic silver medalist Meb Keflezighi, 2016 Olympic Marathon bronze medalist Galen Rupp, 2016 Olympian Jared Ward, four- time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman, Shadrack Biwott and Sean Quigley.
The women’s field includes nine runners who have posted personal best times under 2:23:23. Two-time IAAF World Championships gold medalist Edna Kiplagat is one of the most accomplished women in the field. Kiplagat is a London, New York City and Los Angeles champion. Last year she finished third in Tokyo and second in Chicago, running a 2:22:36 and 2:23:28 respectively. Countrywomen Gladys Cherono, the 2015 Berlin winner and 2014 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships gold medalist, joins Kiplagat, as does 2015 Boston, Prague and Las Vegas champion Caroline Rotich.
Valentine Kipketer, Joyce Chepkirui, and Brigid Kosgei round out the Kenyan team.
From Ethiopia, 2016 champ Atsede Baysa as well as 2014 Boston Marathon winner and course-record- holder Buzunesh Deba are back to race. They will be joined by countrywoman and young talent Ruti Aga.
Four-time Olympian Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia, who is a two-time New York City winner and two-time Boston runner-up returns after placing 12 th at the 2016 Olympic Marathon. She will be joined by Rose Chelimo of Bahrain, who finished eighth at the 2016 Olympic Marathon; three-time Olympian Diane Nukuri of Burundi who most recently finished fifth at the New York City Marathon; Kellys Arias, who holds the Colombian national record; and Rachel Hannah, the fastest Canadian marathoner of 2016.
Previously announced elite women from the US include four-time Olympian and 10,000m Olympic bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan, who recently finished sixth at the 2016 Olympic Games Marathon; two-time Olympian Desiree Linden, who finished seventh at the 2016 Olympic Games Marathon; 2015 Pan Am Games Marathon silver medalist Lindsay Flanagan; two-time Pittsburgh winner Clara Santucci; Tallahassee and Twin Cities winner Esther Atkins; and making her debut is track standout, Jordan Hasay, the 2016 Ten Mile National Champion.
Added to the US women’s field are Olympian Blake Russell and Liz Costello who is making her marathon debut.Follow Andrew Mahoney on Twitter @GlobeMahoney