NAIROBI, April 8 (Xinhua) -- Former Boston Marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya says he is back to his best form as he seeks to recapture the title he lost last year amid bad weather.
Kirui surrendered his crown in Boston to Yuki Kawauchi, the Japanese athlete powering past Kirui as he faltered in a freezing rainstorm that blew through the elite race in 2018.
The two will face stiff competition from Ethiopia's Lelisa Desisa, who is hunting his second win of the World Marathon Majors' (WMM) series on a course he has conquered twice before.
"I have high expectations against a strong group of athletes. The plan is to win back the title, which will determine whether I will defend my crown at the World Championships. I believe in my training, which has gone well, and am ready for the battle," said Kirui on Monday in Nairobi.
Desisa, who won in New York last November to draw level with Eluid Kipchoge and Mo Farah on the WMM leaderboard, hopes to continue his cruise.
On the women's side, defending champion Desiree Linden is back to take on 21 other elite athletes.
Among them is three-time WMM series champion Edna Kiplagat, the only athlete in the lineup who has competed in all six cities on the WMM circuit.
Her last event was in Berlin, where she finished in fourth place. She has also picked up medals in Boston, London, Chicago, London and Tokyo.
Also lining up in Boston will be 2015 champion Caroline Rotich, former London Marathon champion Aselefech Mergia and ex-world champion Mare Dibaba.