Ryan Hall, Abdi Abdirahman added to Boston Marathon; Ritzenhein out
The Boston Marathon lost one U.S. Olympian, but it gained two others on Monday.
2012 Olympic marathoners Ryan Hall and Abdi Abdirahman were added to the field for the April 21 race after three-time Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein withdrew with a groin injury.
Also pulling out were Kenyan Moses Mosop, who finished second at the 2011 Boston Marathon, and Australian Olympian Jeffrey Hunt.
The 118th Boston Marathon will mark a return to the site of bombings that rocked one of the great 26.2-mile races last year.
Hall, 31, is the biggest name in the news Monday to U.S. marathon fans. He took ninth at the 2008 Olympic marathon and made the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team but could not finish the 26.2-mile race in London.
Hall has since been sidelined from major marathons by injuries. Before that, he finished third at Boston in 2009 and fourth in 2010 and 2011. He clocked the fastest marathon by an American in 2011, 2 hours, 4 minutes, 58 seconds.
“After watching the tragic events that unfolded at last year’s race and knowing the resilience of both the running and Boston communities, I knew this year’s race was going to be a run of redemption that I am eager to be a part of,” Hall said in a press release. “This year’s race will undoubtedly be the most historically significant marathon in Boston’s storied history.”
Abdirahman, the affectionately known “Black Cactus,” is a four-time Olympian. He was born in Somalia and placed 10th, 15th and 15th in the 10,000m at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics. He started but did not finish the 2012 Olympic marathon.
Hall and Abdirahman join the third American to compete in the 2012 Olympic marathon, Meb Keflezighi, in the Boston field.
The international favorites on the men’s side include Kenyans Dennis Kimetto (2013 Chicago and Tokyo winner) and Wilson Chebet and Ethiopians Lelisa Desisa (2013 Boston winner), Gebre Gebremariam (2010 New York City winner) and Markos Geneti (2013 Los Angeles winner).
The women’s field is led by defending champion Rita Jeptoo of Kenya, Ethiopian Mare Dibaba and American Olympians Shalane Flanagan and Desi Davila.