NAIROBI, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- With little hope for making the world championship team, Kenyans Dennis Kimetto and Edna Kiplagat will have nothing to prove as they seek to conquer the Boston marathon course in April.
Kimetto, the world marathon record holder (2:02.57) and two-time world champion Kiplagat will lead formidable fields in Boston on April 17 in a bid to resuscitate their careers after long spell battling injuries.
Kimetto, 32, leads a field of nine men who have lifetime bests under 2:05:30. Kimetto is a Chicago and Tokyo champion, who set the world marathon standard with his 2:02:57 victory in Berlin in 2014. Kimetto also holds the world 25km record of 1:11:18 set in 2012, also in Berlin.
He can expect a slew of Kenyan compatriots for company, Emmanuel Mutai, Patrick Makau and Sammy Kitwara.
Mutai, who finished second to Kimetto in the 2014 Berlin race, is a London and Amsterdam champion and won the silver medal at the 2009 IAAF World Championships.
Makau is a former marathon world record-holder, two-time Berlin and Fukuoka winner, and champion in Rotterdam and Frankfurt. Kitwara has run six half marathons under one hour and is coming off a December win in Chinese Taipei.
Ethiopia will also be well represented, led by 2016 Boston Marathon champion Lemi Berhanu Hayle, who will run alongside countrymen Yemane Tsegay, Dino Sefir and Sisay Lemma.
Tsegay, who finished third in Boston last year, claimed the silver medal at the 2015 IAAF World Championships and has nine global marathon wins to his credit, most recently Fukuoka last month.
Sefir arrives after 2016 victories in Ottawa and Barcelona while Lemma won in Frankfurt and Vienna in 2015. Both are new to the Boston course.
Four other Kenyan men are also expected in mix: Wesley Korir, the 2012 Boston winner; Wilson Chebet, a three-time Amsterdam winner who has finished second and third in Boston; Geoffrey Kirui, a rising talent who won the bronze medal in the 10,000m at the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships; and Daniel Salel, the 2016 BAA Half Marathon champion.
In women's race, Kiplagat will head the field that includes nine runners who have clocked 2:23:23 or better.
The 37-year-old Kenyan is one of the most accomplished marathoners in the world, with victories in London, New York City and Los Angeles in her collection, along with the Abbott World Marathon Majors series title from in 2013-2014.
In 2016 she was third in Tokyo and second in Chicago, running 2:22:36 and 2:23:28 respectively. She will be joined by compatriots Gladys Cherono, the 2015 Berlin winner and 2014 world half marathon champion, and Caroline Rotich, the 2015 winner in Boston, Prague and Las Vegas.
Valentine Kipketer, Joyce Chepkirui, and Brigid Kosgei will round up the top Kenyan entrants. Kipketer's credentials include past victories in Amsterdam and Mumbai while Chepkirui has notched a win in Amsterdam and two wins in Honolulu. Kosgei meanwhile won both Milan and Honolulu in 2016.
The Ethiopian contingent will be led by two past winners: defending champion Atsede Baysa and Buzunesh Deba, who set the course record of 2:19:59 with her victory in 2014.
They will be joined by Ruti Aga, whose 2016 performances include a runner-up finish in Vienna and a third-place showing in Berlin.