News14 Oct 2013

Kebede, Lel and Straneo added to New York field


Ethiopia's Tsegay Kebede in action at the 2011 New York Marathon (© Getty Images)

London Marathon champion Tsegaye Kebede, double New York Marathon winner Martin Lel and World silver medallist Valeria Straneo will compete in the 2013 ING New York City Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on 3 November.

Kebede is the current World Marathon Majors leader, having won this year’s London Marathon just six months after winning the 2012 Chicago Marathon in a personal best of 2:04:38.

The 26-year-old took bronze medals at the 2008 Olympics and 2009 IAAF World Championships, but in his most recent outing he just missed out on the podium at the World Championships in Moscow, finishing fourth.

The Ethiopian, who has won twice in both London and Fukuoka, has only once before competed in New York, finishing third in 2011. He has finished in the top three in 12 of his 15 Marathons to date.

Despite being just two weeks away from his 35th birthday, Lel is one of the most consistent marathon runners of the past decade.

The Kenyan has won the London Marathon three times and finished second on three other appearances in the British capital. His personal best of 2:05:15, set in 2008, was a London course record at the time.

His first major Marathon victory came 10 years ago in New York, a title he regained four years later. In his 12 career Marathons, only once has he failed to make it on to the podium.

Kebede and Lel joined the previously announced men’s field which includes defending champion and course record-holder Geoffrey Mutai, World and Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich and 2012 Boston Marathon champion Wesley Korir.

Italian veteran Straneo was one of the surprise medallists at this year’s World Championships. The 37-year-old front-ran for most of the way in Moscow and was only overtaken in the closing stages, holding on to take silver in 2:25:58.

She broke the Italian record last year in Rotterdam, where she finished second in 2:23:44. Two months prior she also broke the Italian record for the Half-marathon with 1:07:46.

Straneo is yet to win a Marathon but will have gained confidence from her recent victory at the Half Marathon of Portugal in Lisbon, where she decisively beat Ethiopia’s Firehiwot Dado, who will be defending her title at the New York Marathon.

Also in the field is Edna Kiplagat, the Kenyan who finished ahead of Straneo at the World Championships, as well as this year’s London Marathon winner Priscah Jeptoo.

“We are honoured to add Tsegaye, Martin and Valeria to our star quality professional athlete field that includes 32 Olympians and seven national record-holders,” said New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.

“Our hearts will move with their feet as we watch their inspiring stories unfold, and ignite the marathon dreams of the more than 45,000 runners who will follow their lead.”

Organisers for the IAAF