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Kenenisa Bekele and Sara Hall drop out of the Boston Marathon

Kenenisa Bekele’s Boston Marathon debut will now have to wait

The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) has announced updates to the professional fields at the 126th Boston Marathon in two weeks. Previous headliners Kenenisa Bekele, Titus Ekiru and Sara Hall have all announced that they will not be running, due to ongoing injuries. Ethiopia’s Sisay Lemma and Birhanu Legese have both been added.

Berlin Marathon
Bekele winning the 2016 Berlin Marathon. Photo: SCC EVENTS

Hall posted on her Instagram that her knee tendon has been aggravated since she tripped on a run in February, landing on a rock. She insists that she has done everything to make it to the line in Boston but does not want to risk the chance of a setback before the World Championships in Eugene, Ore. this July.

Among other big names to drop out of the women’s field are: 2019 Valencia Marathon champion Roza Dereje (ETH); 2019 Ottawa Marathon winner Tigist Girma (ETH); 2021 NYC Marathon sixth-place finisher Kellyn Taylor (USA) and sub-2:20 marathoner Zeineba Yimer (ETH).

Tigist Girma at the 2019 Ottawa Marathon. Photo: Victah Sailer

Kenya’s Ekiru was the second-fastest elite male in the field, behind Bekele, running the fastest marathon time of 2021 (2:02:57 in Milan). Ekiru has struggled to come back from an ongoing injury he suffered at the RAK Half Marathon in February, which forced him out.

Bekele has been very silent on social media since his sixth-place finish at the 2021 New York Marathon. The reasoning for his Boston withdrawal has not been announced; the former four-time world-record holder continues to fight Father Time, turning 40 this June.

Legese of Ethiopia has been added to the men’s field. He is a two-time Tokyo Marathon champion with a personal best of 2:02:48. Lemma is the other addition to the men’s field: he won the 2021 London Marathon and has previous wins in Berlin and Tokyo and a PB of 2:03:36.

For the first time in almost three years, the prestigious Boston Marathon will return to its traditional Patriots’ Day date of April 18. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for all content leading up to the 126th Boston Marathon. You can view full the updated start list here.