Chicago Diaries: Dickson Chumba and Florence Kiplagat defend titles

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Florence Kiplagat, photo by PhotoRun.net

Chicago favorites
CHICAGO (USA): Dickson Chumba and Florence Kiplagat will defend their titles in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday. Chumba is the fastest entrant in the men's race with a 2:04:32 PB ahead of former winner Tsegaye Kebede (2:04:38) and Abel Kirui (2:05:04) who are both looking to return to form after recent injury problems. Ethiopia's Abayneh Ayele has more recent form to his name, finishing sixth in the Dubai Marathon in 2:06:45 in January and fourth at the World Half Marathon Championships where he was outsprinted for bronze by Mo Farah. Other names to watch include Shanghai Marathon winner Paul Lonyangata (2:07:14), Mumbai Marathon winner Gideon Kipketer (2:08:14), former Olympic 10,000m bronze medallist Micah Kogo (2:06:56) and debutant Stephen Sambu, who arrives with 27:25 10km and 60:41 half marathon PBs to his name. Kiplagat (2:19:44) faces her namesake Edna Kiplagat (2:19:50) in the women's race along with Boston Marathon winner Atsede Baysa (2:22:03), Frankfurt Marathon winner Gullume Chala (2:23:12), Paris Marathon winner Visiline Jepkesho (2:24:44) and former Amsterdam Marathon winner Valentine Kipketer (2:23:02).

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