Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Women's Field Races into Boston Marathon Spotlight

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Women's Field Races into Boston Marathon Spotlight

Article excerpt

For a change, the balance of power in the Boston Marathon appears to have swung toward the women, headed by defending champion Uta Pippig of Germany.

"I think the women's field is better than the men's for the first time," four-time champion Bill Rodgers said.

Among those seeking to dethrone Pippig in Boston's 99th running today will be the Nos. 2-3-5 finishers from last year: 1992 Olympic gold medalist Valentina Yegorova of Russia, Elana Meyer of South Africa and Carmen de Oliveira of Brazil.

Other contenders are 1994 New York City Marathon winner Tegla Loroupe of Kenya, 1992 Boston runner-up Yashiko Yamamato of Japan, Madina Biktagirova of Belarus, Franziska Moser of Switzerland and Mari Tanigawa of Japan.

All have broken the 2-hour, 30-minute barrier, led by Pippig, whose 2:21:45 last year smashed Joan Benoit Samuelson's course record by 58 seconds and was the third-fastest women's marathon in history.

The men's course record also fell last year, with Cosmas Ndeti of Kenya covering the 26 miles, 385 yards, in 2:07:15, the fifth-fastest in history, for his second consecutive Boston victory.

Ndeti will seek to become the first foreigner and only the third man to win Boston three consecutive years, joining Clarence DeMar and Rodgers. His strongest challengers appear to be countrymen Moses Tanui, Benson Masya and Sammy Nyangincha, South Koreans Kim Jae-Ryong and Kim Wan-Ki, Mexicans Alejandro Cruz and Isidro Rico, and Namibia's Lucketz Swartbooi.

While the men's field is strong, the women's competition is expected to be intriguing and curious.

Off her past performances, especially last year's sizzling showing, Pippig has to be regarded as the favorite.

She is more familiar with the tricky and difficult course than the others. She has run it four times and never finished worse than third. In addition to her victory last year, she was second in 1990 and third in 1991 and 1992. …

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