2009 Boston Champ Deriba Merga Added To 2013 Field

Deriba Merga won the 2009 Boston Marathon and will return for next month's race. Photo: www.photorun.net

Ethiopian will run with the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team.

Deriba Merga, 2009 Boston Marathon champion, is a late addition to the 2013 edition of the race and will compete on the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team, it was announced this week.

The Ethiopian finished third a year after winning the title, and at the 2008 Olympics he placed fourth in the marathon.

Last year, Merga recorded a second-place result in the ING New York City Half-Marathon with a time of 59 minutes, 48 seconds. He has broken the one-hour mark eight times during his career.

Merga’s personal best in the marathon is 2:06:38, and he enters Boston having run two half-marathons this season, Houston (second place) and Paris (fourth).

The Hancock team has also removed one of its athletes because of a foot injury. Guor Marial, a dual citizen of South Sudan and the United States, recently sustained a foot injury and was forced to pull out of the field.

“Missing the Boston Marathon this year is a great disappointment, but I sincerely thank the Boston Marathon family for giving me that opportunity,” he said in a John Hancock press release. “I am far more excited and motivated to train hard, as well as stay healthy, for next year’s event.”

The 117th running of the race takes place April 15.

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