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Geoffrey Mutai to take on defending champions at Boston 10k

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Geoffrey Mutai stuns with a jaw-dropping 2:03:02 run in Boston (Getty Images).PHOTO/AFP

Geoffrey Mutai stuns with a jaw-dropping 2:03:02 run in Boston (Getty Images).PHOTO/AFP

UNITED KINGDOM, June 25 – Defending champions Daniel Salel and Mary Wacera, both of Kenya, will be looking to retain their BAA 10k titles at the IAAF Bronze Label Road Race in Boston on Sunday.

Wacera prevailed last year despite torrential downpours and inclement weather conditions, winning in 32:07.

Earlier this year she set a half-marathon PB of 1:06:29 and then finished third at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff. Her best this year at 10k is 31:49, just 21 seconds shy of the PB she set in 2012.

Two months after breaking the finish tape at the 120th Boston Marathon, Ethiopia’s Atsede Baysa will return to Boston seeking another victory. Coming from more than 37 seconds behind in the final miles to win the Boston Marathon in April, Baysa will look to use the same speed in Back Bay at the BAA 10K.

Having contested only three 10k races to date, Baysa’s lifetime best of 33:14 from 2009 could be due for revision in what will be her first race since her Boston Marathon triumph.

Two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat will be looking to improve on her second-place finish from last year’s BAA 10k, while Ethiopia’s Buzunesh Deba, twice a podium finisher at the Boston Marathon, will be making her debut at the race.

Lineth Chepkurui, winner of the 2011 BAA 5K, and Sentayehu Ejigu, second at the 2015 BAA 5K, are also competing.

New Zealand Olympian Kim Smith, the 2012 BAA 10k champion, and USA’s Jen Rhines, who lives along the course, also return to Boston with the podium in their sights.

Salel clocked 28:09 to win last year’s BAA 10k, but his lifetime best was set when finishing third at the 2014 edition of the race, clocking 27:41. His best for the distance this year is a more modest 29:14.

Geoffrey Mutai, who holds the course records for the BAA 10k and the Boston Marathon, will make his fifth appearance at the race. He set the course record of 27:19 in 2011 and retained his title one year later.

USA’s Dathan Ritzenhein and Abdi Abdirahman will also be aiming to contest for top honours. Ritzenhein was the top US finisher at the 2015 Boston Marathon, placing seventh overall in 2:11:20. Abdirahman has won seven national titles on the track and roads.

Boston Marathon champion Lemi Berhanu Hayle has withdrawn from the race, as he has been selected to represent Ethiopia in the marathon at the Olympics later this summer.

The BAA 10K course is a flat, fast tour through Boston’s Back Bay neighbourhood. Following the start on Charles Street, the race turns on to Boylston Street and Arlington Street, then winds down picturesque Commonwealth Avenue and Bay State Road as far west as Babcock Street near Boston University.

Participants then head back on Commonwealth Avenue, under the iconic Boston Strong sign, around the Public Garden, and finish on Charles Street.

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