The men's radce also includes Olympic marathon champ Stephen Kiprotich and double world champ Abel Kirui. The women's race will serve as the marathon debut for half marathon WR holder Joyciline Jepkosgei.
2:04:28 man Sammy Kitwara and Ayele Abshero (2:04:23) are also in the field along with several other sub-2:07 men. Six of the women's field have gone sub-2:30 lead by Isabellah Andersson (2:23:41 from 2011) and Shitaye Eshete (2:25:36).
Mekonnen, the world jr record holder for 26.2, had a 19 second lead at 35k but Kiprotich caught him by 40k, only to be outkicked. In the women's race, Portugal Jessica Augusto won in 2:25:30. Before the race, she said she was hoping to beat Rosa Mota's NR 2:23:29 that has stood since 1985 but given the fact it was hailing early in the race, she decided to just focus on winning.
Former Dubai winner Tsegaye Mekonnen (2:04:32), former London winner Tsegaye Kebede (2:04:38) and former world bronze medalist Tadesse Tola (2:04:49) headline with Kiprotich while 2:24-woman Jessica Augosto is the favorite on the women's side.
Abera faces five fellow sub-2:08 men while Melkamu is up against the defending champion Meseret Hailu (2:21:09), Madi Perez (2:22:59) and several other sub-2:30 women.
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