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  BAA field includes returning champs Ndereba, Cheruiyot

By Reid Laymance, Globe Staff, 3/17/2004

Catherine Ndereba, a two-time Boston Marathon champion, is back in the field for this April's race after skipping the event last year.

Ndereba, who won Boston in 2000 and 2001, headlines a diverse women's field that includes last year's runner-up, Lyubov Denisova of Russia, plus Elfenesh Alemu of Ethiopia and Olympian Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia. Last year's women's winner, Svetlana Zakharova of Russia, has not entered.

For the first time, the women's field will have a separate start, going off at 11:31 a.m., 28 minutes before the men on April 19.

The men's elite field, also announced yesterday by John Hancock Financial Services, is led by defending champion Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot of Kenya. Cheruiyot will have some familiar challengers this year: Benjamin Kosgei Kimutai and Martin Lel, both of Kenya, are back after finishing second and third in 2003.

Also in the men's elite field will be 2002 Boston champion Rodgers Rop of Kenya and Mohamed Ouaadi, who is trying to become the first French runner to win in Boston.

Men's elite field

Bib Name Age Home Best
1Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot25Kenya2:08:59
2Benjamin Kosgei Kimutai33Kenya2:07:26
3Rodgers Rop28Kenya2:08:07
4Timothy Cherigat27Kenya2:09:34
5Martin Lel25Kenya2:10:02
6Mohamed Ouaadi35France2:07:55
7Hailu Negussie24Ethiopia2:08:16
8Laban Kipkemboi26Kenya2:08:39
9David Omiti Makori30Kenya2:08:49
10Elly Rono33Kenya2:10:57
11Grzegorz Gajdus37Poland2:09:23
12Dmitri Kapitonov36Russian Federation2:09:32
14Dawit Trfe19Ethiopia2:10:38
15Daniele Caimmi31Italy2:08:59
16Robert Cheboror25Kenya2:11:06
17Stephen Kiogora29Kenya2:12:29
18Andrew Letherby30Australia2:12:45
19Enos Keter22Kenya2:13:44
20Gudisa Shentama23Ethiopia2:15:16
21John Korir28KenyaDebut
25Hiroaki Takeda29Japan2:12:02
26Shinsuke Sato23Japan
27Minoru Isono30Japan2:19:02

Women's elite field

Bib Name Age Home Best
F1Catherine Ndereba31Kenya2:18:47
F2Jelena Prokopcuka27Latvia2:24:01
F3Elfenesh Alemu28Ethiopia2:24:29
F4Nuta Olaru33Romania2:25:18
F5Olivera Jevtic26Serbia and Montenegro2:25:23
F6Lyubov Denisova32Russian Federation2:25:58
F7Malgorzata Sobanska34Poland2:26:08
F8Ruth Jepkoech Kutol30Kenya2:27:22
F9Victoria Klimina28Russian Federation2:28:30
F10Irina Safarova34Russian Federation2:29:20
F11Leah Malot31KenyaDebut
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