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Star-Studded Field for NYC Marathon 2021

Peres Jepchirchir

USA – Olympic Champion Peres Jepchirchir, Olympic Silver Medalist Abdi Nageeye, and Four-Time Olympic Medalist Kenenisa Bekele to Join Star-Studded Professional Athlete Field at TCS New York City Marathon on November 7

Star-Studded Field for New York City Marathon 2021

Olympian Jared Ward and United Airlines NYC Half champion Ben True to lead American men in the open division

Daniel Romanchuk and Manuela Schär will aim to defend wheelchair division titles

New York, August 19, 2021 – Olympic gold medalist Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, Olympic silver medalist Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands, and four-time Olympic medalist Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia will make their TCS New York City Marathon debuts on Sunday, November 7, joining a star-studded professional athlete lineup for the event’s 50th running.

Women’s Open Division

Jepchirchir won gold at the Tokyo Olympic Marathon this month in 2:27:20 and is a two-time world champion in the half marathon, having won gold at the 2020 and 2016 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships. Last year, she joined the legendary trio of Tegla Loroupe, Paula Radcliffe and Lornah Kiplagat as the only women to win more than one half marathon world title. Her personal-best marathon time of 2:17:16 is the fastest of any woman in the TCS New York City Marathon open division.

“2021 has already been a magical year, and I am excited that it is not yet over,” Jepchirchir said. “I am happy about competing in the TCS New York City Marathon. The excitement in Kenya around my performance in the Olympic Games has been very high, and I know that a victory in New York will mean so much to the people of Kenya. The 50th year of something is often called its ‘golden anniversary,’ so how fitting it will be that for New York City’s 50th running I will run as the Olympic gold medalist.”

Challenging Jepchirchir on the international front will be Namibia’s four-time Olympian and 2019 World Championships bronze medalist Helalia Johannes, who was 11th in the Tokyo Olympic Marathon, and Ethiopia’s Ruti Aga, who won the Tokyo Marathon and finished third at the TCS New York City Marathon in 2019. Ethiopia’s mixed-gender world-record holder and the 2019 Chicago Marathon runner-up Ababel Yeshaneh and Kenya’s Nancy Kiprop, the fourth place-finisher at the event in 2019, will also toe the line. Greece’s 10,000-meter record-holder Alexi Pappas and Kenya’s Viola Cheptoo, the sister of five-time Olympian Bernard Lagat, will make their New York debuts.

They will join the previously announced group of American women that includes Olympic bronze medalist Molly Seidel, 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials champion Aliphine Tuliamuk, 2012 Olympic silver medalist Sally Kipyego, 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials 10,000 meters champion Emily Sisson, and 2018 Boston Marathon winner and two-time Olympian Des Linden.

Men’s Open Division
Nageeye won the silver medal at the Olympic marathon in Tokyo this year, crossing the line in 2:09:58. The Somali-born Dutch runner was 11th at the Rio 2016 Olympic marathon and has finished in the top-10 at the Boston Marathon twice. He holds national records in both the marathon and half marathon.

“For me, winning the silver medal in the Olympic Games was not a surprise,” Nageeye said. “There were many good athletes in the race, but I knew my preparation had been good. I was ready for the conditions, and most importantly I believed in myself. I will take that same focus into my preparations for New York, and my belief and confidence in my abilities is even higher than it was in Sapporo. There is nothing I want more than to bring a New York City victory back home along with my Olympic medal.”

Bekele is a four-time Olympic medalist and 16-time world champion who will make his debut in the men’s open division. At the Athens 2004 Games, he won gold in the 10,000 and silver in the 5,000, and four years later in Beijing took gold in both distances. He won the 2019 Berlin Marathon in the second-fastest time ever, only two seconds off the world-record time set by Eliud Kipchoge in Berlin the year prior.

“I am proud of the many accomplishments in my career, but I have never had the opportunity to compete in the TCS New York City Marathon,” Bekele said. “I am excited that 2021 will be the year for me to make my attempt in New York. Some of my greatest success has come in cross-country running, and I am told that the hills and turns of New York reward athletes with the strength that comes from running cross-country. I will do my best to join that great list of New York City champions.”

Leading the American men will be Rio 2016 Olympian Jared Ward, who has finished as the top American in the last two TCS New York City Marathons, and 2018 United Airlines NYC Half winner and six-time national champion Ben True, who will be making his marathon debut.

Both Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie and Great Britain’s Callum Hawkins will also make their TCS New York City Marathon debuts. Kandie is the half marathon world-record holder and a 2020 World Half Marathon Championships silver medalist, and he will be covering the 26.2-mile distance for the first time in his career. Hawkins is a two-time Olympian who finished fourth at both the 2019 and 2017 World Championships in the marathon.

The 2019 TCS New York City Marathon second and third-place finishers, Kenya’s Albert Korir and Ethiopia’s Girma Bekele Gebre will return in attempt to repeat their podium performances, in addition to 2016 race winner Ghirmay Ghebreslassie of Eritrea.

Men’s Wheelchair Division

Romanchuk, a two-time U.S. Paralympian, will race for his third consecutive TCS New York City Marathon title after becoming the youngest athlete ever and first men’s American wheelchair racer to win the event in 2018 and repeating his effort in 2019.

“I can’t wait to hit the start line on the Verrazzano for the 50th running of the TCS New York City Marathon,” Romanchuk said. “The hunt for the finish tape will be fierce, but I know we’ll all be joining together celebrating the return to racing through the boroughs.”

Switzerland’s Marcel Hug will try to earn back his title after winning previously in 2013, 2016 and 2017. He is an eight-time Paralympic medalist who finished as runner-up in the last two editions of the event.

South Africa’s eight-time Paralympic medalist and 10-time Boston Marathon champion Ernst van Dyk, who won in 2005 and 2015, and Great Britain’s 10-time Paralympic medalist and eight-time London Marathon champion David Weir, who won in 2010, will look to add to their titles.

American Aaron Pike will race New York between competing at the Tokyo Paralympics and Beijing Paralympics in track and Nordic skiing, going for his first podium appearance after finishing fourth in 2019.

Women’s Wheelchair Division

Schär, a three-time Paralympic medalist, will try to follow Tatyana McFadden in becoming only the second woman to win four consecutive titles in the women’s wheelchair division. In 2019, she completed the five-borough course in 1:44:20, the second-fastest time in history, to grab her ninth consecutive Abbott World Marathon Majors race title.

In addition to 2020 London Marathon champion Nikita den Boer of the Netherlands, Schär will face stiff competition from the previously announced trio of Americans, five-time champion and 17-time Paralympic medalist McFadden, two-time champion and seven-time Paralympic medalist Amanda McGrory and three-time Mastercard New York Mini 10K champion Susannah Scaroni.

The 2021 TCS New York City Marathon women’s professional athlete field is presented by Mastercard.

The 2021 TCS New York City Marathon will be televised live on Sunday, November 7, on WABC-TV Channel 7 in the New York tristate area, throughout the rest of the nation on ESPN2, and around the world by various international broadcasters.

Professional Athlete Field – Men’s Open Division