Tirfi Tsegaye (Image by Robert James Reese)

Tirfi Tsegaye (Image by Robert James Reese)

Trio of 2:21 runners might set fast pace.

By Erin Strout
Among an elite international field of many of the top African runners, including returning champions Wesley Korir and Sharon Cherop, both of Kenya, a strong contingent of Ethiopian women, including 2:21 runners Meseret Hailu, Tirfi Tsegaye and Mamitu Daska, will be contenders for Boston’s laurel wreath on Monday.Hailu, 22, has experienced a rapid rise to the top in the past year, most recently with a victory at the Amsterdam Marathon in 2:21:09. That win marked a 6-minute PR from her previous best of 2:27:15, set just five months earlier in Prague. Two weeks before her Amsterdam breakthrough, Hailu was the surprise winner of the 2012 world half marathon championships in 68:55, and led Ethiopia to the team gold there.

At Friday’s press conference, Hailu was shy, giggling when asked questions regarding her training and putting her head down on the table. Her coach, Getaneh Tessema, spoke on her behalf, attributing his athlete’s stellar performances of late to the direction and structure that his training group, which includes Tiki Gelana, Olympic marathon champion, provides. Read more
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