John Hancock Financial Corporation

01/22/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/22/2020 08:26

John Hancock Announces 2020 Boston Marathon Elite Team

75 Elite Athletes, Including Olympians, Paralympians, World Champions, Olympic Medalists and Abbott World Marathon Majors Winners, from 17 Countries Invited for 124th Running on April 20


BOSTON, Jan. 22, 2020/CNW/ - John Hancock and the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) today announced the elite international fields for the 124th Boston Marathon on April 20. Complete field lists follow.

The 2020 Boston Marathon elite field has won more than 230 international marathons and includes 16 Boston Marathon champions, Olympic and Paralympic medalists, World Record holders, World Champions and Abbott World Marathon Majors Series champions. These accomplished athletes will challenge their respective fields to seek the coveted olive wreath at the world's most historic marathon.

2020 Boston Marathon Elite Team Video

'John Hancockis proud to announce our accomplished international team in our 35th year as principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon,' said Barbara Goose, Chief Marketing Officer at John Hancock. 'Over the years we've recruited more than 900 of the world's best runners from 48 countries and this year's team is one of the most accomplished. We'll be cheering for these athletes and all participants as they run from Hopkintonto Bostonin April.'

'The Boston Marathon is proud to welcome the world's best athletes each April, and this year's race is no exception,' said Tom Grilk, CEO of the B.A.A. 'With Olympic and Paralympic medalists, national record holders, and rising stars, the race toward the finish line will be both fierce and exciting. We look forward to crowning our 2020 champions on what will be another memorable Patriots' Day.'

Women's Field Summary

John Hancockhas assembled a talented field of seasoned and rising elites with 12 women holding personal best times under 2:23 and five under 2:20.

Leading the way are five Boston Marathon champions: Worknesh Degefa, the defending Bostonchampion and Ethiopian marathon national record holder; two-time Olympian Desiree Lindenof the United States, who won Bostonin 2018; two-time World Championships gold medalist and three-time Abbott World Marathon Majors Series winner Edna Kiplagat of Kenya, who won Bostonin 2017; 2015 Boston Marathon, Prague, and Las Vegaschampion Caroline Rotich, also of Kenya; and Ethiopian Buzunesh Deba, the 2014 Boston Marathon course record holder.

Challengers for the title include Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia, who returns in excellent fitness having recently run 2:20:21 to place runner-up at the 2019 BMW Berlin Marathon. Dibaba has finished as high as second in Bostonand is the 2015 World Athletics Championships Marathon gold medalist, 2016 Olympic Marathon bronze medalist, and 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon winner.

Olympian Rose Chelimo of Bahrainis on the team, having claimed both a silver and gold medal at the last two World Athletics Championships Marathons (2019 and 2017). Chelimo was eighth at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Marathon.

Three-time Olympian Gelete Burka, a gold, silver, and bronze medalist at World Athletics Championships on the track and in cross country will lead a trio of Ethiopians: two-time Olympian Meskerem Assefa, winner of the Rotterdamand Frankfurt Marathons; Yebrgual Melese, who has earned wins in Shanghai, Pragueand Houston; and three-time Rome Marathon champion Rahma Tusa.

Returning to the team with top finishes in previous Boston Marathons are Canadian Olympian Krista Duchene, third in 2018; World Athletics Half Marathon silver and bronze medalist Mary Ngugi of Kenya, seventh in 2019, and Kate Landau of the United States, 13th and top masters finisher last year.

The Kenyan trio of Magdalyne Masai, Olympian Besu Sadoand Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui will make their Bostondebuts, as will Ethiopian Haftamnesh Tesfay. Masai won in Torontolast fall and was runner-up in Hamburg; Sado made her marathon debut in Amsterdamlast October and finished fourth in 2:21:03; Kipkirui is a two-time Falmouth Road Race winner and the former world-record-holder in the 5K(14:48 en-route to a 30:19 win at the 2018 Prague 10K); and Tesfaye ran 2:20:13 in her 2018 marathon debut in Dubai.

Four-time TCS New York City and Virgin Money London winner Mary Keitany of Kenyahad accepted an invitation to run Boston, but she is currently sidelined with a back injury.

In the women's wheelchair division, Manuela Schär of Switzerlandreturns as defending champion, having won last year's race in 1:34:19. A two-time Bostonwinner, Schär's first victory came in course record fashion when she timed a world best of 1:28:17 from Hopkintonto Bostonin 2017, becoming the first woman ever to dip under the 1:30 barrier. She'll be joined on the starting line by five-time Bostonchampion Tatyana McFadden of the United Statesand Madison De Rozario of Australia; the pair finished second and third in Bostona year ago. McFadden has earned 17 Paralympic medals over the course of her career.

Americans Susannah Scaroni, Amanda McGrory, and MassachusettsnativeKatrina Gerhardall have personal bests under 1:37, while Australia'sEliza Ault-Connell looks to podium for the first time. McFadden and Scaroni have already secured their positions on Team USAfor the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Men's Field Summary

With 10 men holding personal best times under 2:07, and most having competed against each other in championship events, the race up front should prove competitive on the challenging Bostoncourse.

Leading the elite men are four Boston Marathon champions from the last five years: Lawrence Cherono of Kenya, the reigning Bostonand Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion; Lelisa Desisaof Ethiopia, a two-time Bostonwinner, TCS New York City champion and the 2019 World Athletics Championships Marathon gold medalist; Yuki Kawauchiof Japan, the 2018 Boston victor; and 2017 World Athletics Championships gold medalist Geoffrey Kiruiof Kenya.

Chasing the champions is 2012 Olympic Marathon champion and 2013 World Athletics Championships gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda. Also in the hunt are two athletes looking for their first Abbott World Marathon Majors win: Albert Korir of Kenya, second at the TCS New York City Marathon last fall, and Ethiopian Dejene Debela, runner-up to Cherono by one second at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Returning to Bostonare Kenyans Kenneth Kipkemoi, third at Bostonlast year and winner of the Rotterdam Marathon; Philemon Rono, three-time Torontochampion; and Benson Kipruto, also a past Torontowinner.Felix Kandie also returns after finishing fourth in Bostonlast year.

The Japanese pair of Kentaro Nakamoto and Shoya Osaki also join the John Hancock Elite Team. Nakamoto has represented his country on three World Championships teams and was sixth at the 2012 Olympic Marathon.

Newcomers to the course include 2019 Frankfurt winner Fikre Bekele of Ethiopiaand two-time Eritrean Olympian and junior stand-out Abrar Osman. Making his marathon debut is Jemal Yimer, the Ethiopian national record holder in the half marathon (58:33).

Also joining the John Hancock Elite Team are Olympians Dylan Wykes of Canadaand Li Zicheng of China, as well as Stephen Scullion of Irelandand Fernando Cabada of the United States.

In the men's wheelchair division, previously announced defending champion Daniel Romanchuk of the United Stateslooks to earn his second wheelchair title. Romanchuk, 21, became the youngest Boston Marathon wheelchair champion in history and is the first American since 1993 to hold the men's wheelchair title in Boston. Four-time champion Marcel Hug of Switzerlandand 10-time winner Ernst van Dykof South Africawill both challenge Romanchuk, the reigning Abbott World Marathon Majors Series champion.

Joining Romanchuk, Hug, and van Dyk are fellow Bostonwinners Masazumi Soejima of Japanas well as former course-record-holder Joshua Cassidy (Canada). British star David Weir, Spain's Jorge Madera, as well as Japan'sHiroki Nishida and Kota Hokinoue all are in search of their first Bostonwin.

American men's contenders, in addition to Romanchuk, includeAaron Pike, Joshua George, James Senbeta, Krige Schabort, and Hermin Garic.

2020 Boston Marathon

John Hancock Elite Team


Personal Best


Worknesh Degefa

2:17:41 (Dubai, 2019) NR


Yebrgual Melese

2:19:36 (Dubai, 2018)


Edna Kiplagat

2:19:50 (London, 2012)


Mare Dibaba

2:19:52 (Dubai, 2012)


Buzunesh Deba

2:19:59 (Boston, 2014) CR


Haftamnesh Tesfay

2:20:13 (Dubai, 2018)


Meskerem Assefa

2:20:36 (Frankfurt, 2018)


Gelete Burka

2:20:45 (Dubai, 2018)


Besu Sado

2:21:03 (Amsterdam, 2019)


Magdalyne Masai

2:22:16 (Toronto, 2019)


Desiree Linden

2:22:38 (Boston, 2011)


Rose Chelimo

2:22:51 (Boston, 2017)


Caroline Rotich

2:23:22 (Chicago, 2012)


Rahma Tusa

2:23:46 (Rome, 2018)


Mary Ngugi

2:27:36 (NYC, 2019)


Krista Duchene

2:28:32 (Toronto, 2013)


Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui

2:31:44A (Kisumu, 2012)


Kate Landau

2:31:56 (Boston, 2019)


2020 Boston Marathon

Elite Wheelchair Team


Personal Best


Manuela Schär

1:28:17 (Boston, 2017)


Susannah Scaroni

1:30:42 (Grandma's, 2019)


Tatyana McFadden

1:31:30 (Grandma's, 2019)


Amanda McGrory

1:33:13 (Boston, 2017)


Katrina Gerhard

1:36:26 (Grandma's, 2019)


Jenna Fesemyer

1:37:02 (Grandma's, 2019)


Christie Dawes

1:37:14 (Boston, 2017)


Shelly Woods

1:37:44 (Padova, 2008)


Margriet Van Den Broek

1:38:33 (Boston, 2017)


Madison De Rozario

1:39:22 (Chicago, 2017)


Arielle Rausin

1:40:51 (Grandma's, 2019)


Eliza Ault-Connell

1:41:46 (Boston, 2019)


Vanessa De Souza

1:45:19 (Oita, 2018)


Michelle Wheeler

1:45:55 (Oita, 2018)


Yen Hoang

2:01:06 (Boston, 2019)


2020 Boston Marathon

John Hancock Elite Team


Personal Best


Lawrence Cherono

2:04:06 (Amsterdam, 2018)


Lelisa Desisa

2:04:45 (Dubai, 2013)


Philemon Rono

2:05:00 (Toronto, 2019)


Benson Kipruto

2:05:13 (Toronto, 2019)


Kenneth Kipkemoi

2:05:44 (Rotterdam,2018)


Dejene Debela

2:05:46 (Chicago, 2019)


Felix Kandie

2:06:03 (Seoul, 2017)


Fikre Bekele

2:06:27 (Seoul, 2019)


Geoffrey Kirui

2:06:27 (Amsterdam, 2016)


Stephen Kiprotich

2:06:33 (Tokyo, 2015) NR


Abrar Osman

2:07:46 (Amsterdam, 2019)


Albert Korir

2:08:03 (Ottawa, 2019)


Yuki Kawauchi

2:08:14 (Seoul, 2013)


Kentaro Nakamoto

2:08:35 (Oita, 2013)


Dylan Wykes

2:10:47 (Rotterdam, 2012)


Shoya Osaki

2:10:48 (Oita, 2019)


Fernando Cabada

2:11:36 (Berlin, 2014)


Li Zicheng

2:11:49 (Shanghai, 2010)


Stephen Scullion

2:11:52 (Houston, 2020)


Jemal Yimer

Debut (58:33 Half, Valencia, 2018) NR


2020 Boston Marathon

Elite Wheelchair Team


Personal Best


Marcel Hug

1:18:04 (Boston, 2017)


Ernst Van Dyk

1:18:04 (Boston, 2017)


Joshua Cassidy

1:18:25 (Boston, 2012)


Masazumi Soejima

1:18:50 (Boston, 2011)


Hiroki Nishida

1:20:28 (Boston, 2017)


Kota Hokinoue

1:20:54 (Seoul, 2013)


Aaron Pike

1:20:59 (Grandma's, 2019)


Daniel Romanchuk

1:21:36 (Boston, 2019)


Joshua George

1:21:47 (Boston, 2017)


Rafael Botello Jiménez

1:22:09 (Boston, 2017)


Jorge Madera

1:22:10 (Boston, 2017)


Patrick Monahan

1:22:23 (Grandma's, 2019)


Krige Schabort

1:23:44 (Boston, 2012)


Takashi Yoshida

1:24:04 (Oita, 2019)


James Senbeta

1:24:27 (Boston, 2017)


Simon Lawson

1:25:06 (Boston, 2017)


David Weir

1:26:17 (Boston, 2016)


Sho Watanabe

1:26:22 (Seoul, 2017)


Ryuichi Kawamuro

1:29:35 (Boston, 2019)


Johnboy Smith

1:29:44 (Berlin, 2017)


Hermin Garic

1:32:27 (Grandma's 2019)


Callum Hall

1:32:49 (Seoul, 2019)


The 2020 Boston Marathon marks the 35th year of John Hancock's landmark sponsorship of the legendary race. For more information about the elite athlete program and sponsorship, please visit: John Hancock

About John Hancock and Manulife
John Hancockis a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. We operate primarily as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife globally, including Canada, Asiaand Europe. We provide financial advice, insurance and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. Assets under management and administration by Manulife and its subsidiaries were over CAD$1.2 trillion(US$$881 billion) as of September 30, 2019. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as MFC on the TSX, NYSE, and PSE, and under 945 on the SEHK. Manulife can be found at

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