Lelisa Desisa and Caroline Rotich, winners of the 2015 Boston Marathon (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News Boston, USA

Desisa and Rotich will defend Boston Marathon titles

Organisers of the Boston Marathon today announced that Lelisa Desisa and Caroline Rotich will defend their titles at the IAAF Gold Label Road Race on 18 April 2016.

Last year the chase for the men’s title was aggressive with a deep international field of Olympic medallists, world champions, and World Marathon Majors winners battling for the win in rainy and windy conditions.

Experience proved the deciding factor, however, as Desisa broke away from Yemane Tsegay and Wilson Chebet in the closing mile to secure his second Boston Marathon title, becoming the only Ethiopian man to have won the race twice.

The 25-year-old took the silver medal at the 2013 IAAF World Championships, having won the Dubai Marathon earlier that year in a personal best of 2:04:45. Desisa has also twice made it on to the podium at the New York City Marathon.

“I am so happy to return to Boston in 2016 to try to make history as a three-time champion of the world's most historic race and to do my best to represent Ethiopian running on the global stage,” said Desisa. “Boston has become more than a race to me; the city and its people are special and my wins in Boston are the most important moments in my career. I am dreaming of crossing the finish line first for the third time."

In last year’s women’s race, there was another dramatic finish that hundreds of thousands of fans have come to expect at the Boston Marathon. In the final mile, three women pulled away from the lead pack: Caroline Rotich, Mare Dibaba and Buzunesh Deba.

As Deba faded rounding the historic right on Hereford and left on Boylston, Rotich and Dibaba raced side by side down the finish stretch. Rotich called upon her inner reserves for a final surge and prevailed over Dibaba by four seconds for the win.

“Winning the 2015 Boston Marathon was my biggest and most treasured performance,” said Rotich, a former winner of the Prague and Las Vegas marathons. “For what Boston has given me and what Boston has endured, I would like to give back by defending my title on April 18. I cannot wait to line up with everyone else and give it 100 percent."

“Lelisa and Caroline are inspiring and popular champions of the streets of Boston that our fans and followers will surely be eager to see again,” said BAA executive director Tom Grilk. “They have not only proven themselves at the Boston Marathon, but they have returned to run other Boston road races, endearing themselves to our spectators and their fellow participants. We are always particularly proud to be able to welcome back our defending champions.”

Organisers for the IAAF