Boylston Street will see a few familiar faces when the 123rd edition of the Boston Marathon takes place on April 15.
The Boston Athletic Association and sponsor John Hancock announced the elite field on Thursday, which includes both defending champions – American Desiree Linden and Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi. In total, nine Boston Marathon open champions and seven wheelchair champions will compete in the elite field.
Linden ended a 33-year drought for American women when she won last year’s race after powering through rampant rain. Other headliners in this year’s field include 2017 winner Edna Kiplagat of Kenya and 2016 Olympic marathon bronze medalist Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia. American Sarah Sellers, who surprised with a second-place finish in Boston last year, will also compete, as will Olympic 10,000-meter silver medalist Sally Kipyego of Kenya.
The men’s elite entrants include 2017 winner and world marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya and 2018 New York City Marathon winner Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia. Shadrack Biwott, who finished third in Boston last year, and Olympians Dathan Ritzenhein, Abdi Abdirahman and Jared Ward headline the U.S. contingent.
American Tatyana McFadden and Switzerland’s Marcel Hug are among the frontrunners in the elite wheelchair divisions. McFadden, a 17-time Paralympic medalist, is a five-time Boston winner and the defending champion. She’ll face Manuela Schar of Switzerland, who clocked in at 1:28.17 in 2017, becoming the first woman to finish under 1:30. Hug, an eight-time Paralympic medalist, will race for his fifth wheelchair title in a men’s field that also includes South African Ernst van Dyk, a 10-time Boston winner.
MOSCOW (AP) Lina Cheryazova, the first woman to win an Olympic aerials skiing gold medal, has died. She was 50.
Officials in the Russian city of Novosibirsk, where Cheryazova was living for the last two decades, said she died “following a lengthy illness,” without giving further details.
Competing for Uzbekistan, Cheryazova won gold with a triple flip when aerials skiing debuted on the Olympic program in 1994 in Lillehammer.
Shortly after winning, she learned her mother died three weeks before.
Cheryazova’s career was derailed later that year when she suffered a serious head injury while training in the United States, and spent days in a coma. She retired after failing to qualify for the 1998 Winter Olympics.
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In the final biathlon event of the 2018-19 season, American Clare Egan recorded her first career World Cup podium finish, placing third in the mass start in Oslo, Norway. She hit 19 of 20 targets and crossed the finish line 10.4 seconds behind winner Hanna Oberg of Sweden. Norway’s Tiril Eckhoff finished second.
Egan, 31, made her Olympic debut at the 2018 PyeongChang Games, but considered retiring from biathlon at the end of the last season. “I decided that I wanted to do one more year, just for fun, just to see how much I could learn and how good a biathlete I could become,” Egan said in a U.S. Biathlon press release.
Her decision to continue has paid off: since the start of the 2018-19 season, Egan has posted the top eight finishes of her career (including three top-10 results). She concludes the season ranked 18th in the overall World Cup standings.
“I skied much faster this year than I have in the past and I think that was due to finally finding a good balance in my training, between working hard and resting. I did not train more, but the quality was much higher. I’m very excited for the next season,” Egan told U.S. Biathlon.