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John Hancock Releases Entire Elite Field for Boston Marathon

BOSTON, MA, January 15, 2013‰ÛÓIn its 28th year as
principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon, John Hancock Financial today
announced the elite field for the 117th running of the Boston
Marathon on April 15. A complete field list follows.

Reigning
champions Wesley Korir and Sharon Cherop, both of Kenya, return to defend their
titles, but will be fiercely challenged by a talented international field of
Olympians, World Marathon Majors champions of Chicago, New York City and Boston,
and multiple global marathon winners of
Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Cologne, Daegu,
Dubai, Eindhoven, Frankfurt, Johannesburg, Hamburg, Houston, Istanbul, Krakow, Los
Angeles, Milan, Rome, St. Paul, Soweto, Toronto, Turin and the U.S. Olympic
Trials
.

Last
year Korir and Cherop battled not only one of the strongest fields ever
assembled, but also blistering race day temperatures topping 85F. Korir
prevailed over countryman Levy Matebo in the final mile and Cherop used past
experience to surge on the final turn to win the women’s race by two seconds.

Watch 2012 Boston Marathon Highlights: http://youtu.be/0l1HViI5wYM

Challenging
Korir for the coveted laurel wreath this year is a fast group of men including 2011
Boston runner-up and 2011 Chicago champion Moses Mosop of Kenya. Mosop’s
2:03:06 Boston performance was the second-fastest time ever run over the
marathon distance. Joining him in the chase is two-time Olympian and 2010 New
York City winner Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia. Gebremariam has experience on
the course, finishing third in 2011 in 2:04:53. Matebo has also committed to
return to Boston to improve upon his second place finish last year and brings
additional credentials as marathon champion in Barcelona and Brussels.

American
Ryan Hall, who owns the 2:04:58 U.S. course record in Boston, and countryman
Meb Keflezighi, past New York City winner and Olympic silver medalist, will
work together to bring back a title for the U.S. Both Hall and Keflezighi have
finished as high as third in Boston.

Former
Boston champion and former course-record-holder Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot of
Kenya also returns to the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team and will be joined by
the 2012 Eindhoven course-record-holder Dickson Chumba, also of Kenya.
Additional talent from Ethiopia includes 2011 Los Angeles champion and
course-record-holder Markos Geneti, 2012 Paris and Mumbai runner-up Raji Assefa
and the 2012 Hamburg and 2011 Toronto winner Shami Abdullah Dawit.

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Guor
Marial from South Sudan is also in the field. Marial was granted refugee status
in the U.S. after fleeing Sudan during the Civil War. Eight of his brothers and
sisters were killed in the conflict. Marial, now a U.S. resident, went to high
school in Concord, New Hampshire, and college at Iowa State. After
qualifying for the 2012 Olympics, but not yet having a
country to run for, the International Olympic Committee honored him with entry
to participate under the Olympic Flag.

Also
in contention for the crown are four-time U.S. Olympian Abdi Abdirahman who will
make his debut on the Boston course as will Australian Olympian Jeffrey Hunt
and Canadians Robin Watson and two-time Olympian Eric Gillis.

Americans
Jason Hartmann and Fernando Cabada are also contenders. Hartmann finished
fourth last year and Cabada holds the American record in the 25K. Joining them
to round out the deep field is half marathon specialist Lucas Rotich of Kenya,
who holds a 59:44 half-marathon best and countryman Micah Kogo, a 59:07
half-marathoner, 10,000m Beijing bronze medalist, and former 10K
world-record-holder (27:01).

Headlining
the women’s field are defending Boston Marathon champion Sharon Cherop of
Kenya, Dubai’s two-time winner and 2:19:31 course-record-holder Aselefech
Medessa Mergia of Ethiopia and 2012 World Half-Marathon champion and
Amsterdam’s 2:21:09 course-record-holder Meseret Hailu Debele of Ethiopia. Past
Boston champion and 2012 Chicago runner-up Rita Jeptoo of Kenya returns, as
does Mexican national-record-holder Mada Pérez.

Top
Olympians Tetiana Gamera-Shmyrko of the Ukraine and Americans Shalane Flanagan
and Kara Goucher will present a strong challenge. Gamera-Shmyrko placed fifth
at the London Olympic Marathon and Flanagan and Goucher finished tenth and
eleventh respectively. Flanagan is a three-time Olympian, winning the bronze
medal in the 10,000m in Beijing, and finished runner-up in her marathon debut
in New York City before winning the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon. Goucher has
experience on the Boston course finishing as high as third in 2009 and fifth in
2011.

Also
focused on the podium are Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia, who is past champion of
Frankfurt, Houston, and Dubai; Alemita Abera Begna of Ethiopia, champion of
Houston, Daegu and Istanbul; three-time Olympian Sabrina Mockenhaupt of Germany,
champion of Frankfurt and two-time winner of Cologne and two-time Olympian René
Kalmer of South Africa, who is the past marathon champion of Soweto and
Johannesburg.

Additional
talent includes Diana Chepkemoi Sigei of Kenya, Yolanda Caballero of Colombia,
and Olympians Karolina Jarzynska of Poland, Ana Dulce Félix of Portugal, and
Burundi national-record-holder Diane Nukuri-Johnson. Additional Americans on
the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team include Serena Burla, Stephanie Rothstein-Bruce
and Alissa McKaig.

The 2013 Boston Marathon marks the 28th year of John
Hancock’s landmark sponsorship of the race. For additional information about
the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team and sponsorship, please visit
www.johnhancock.com/bostonmarathon/sportspartnerships.html or follow us @jhboston26 on Twitter.

 

About John Hancock
Financial and Manulife Financial Corporation

John Hancock Financial is a unit of
Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading Canada-based financial services group
with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States.

Operating as Manulife Financial in
Canada and in most of Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States,
Manulife Financial Corporation offers clients a diverse range of financial
protection products and wealth management services through its extensive
network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management
by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$515 billion (US$523 billion)
as at September 30, 2012. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the
TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found
on the Internet at manulife.com.

The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies,
comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock
offers a broad range of financial products and services, including
life insurance, annuities, fixed products, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional
information about John Hancock may be found at
johnhancock.com, and on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

 

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2013 John Hancock Elite
Athlete Team

117th Boston Marathon     April 15, 2013

 

 

 

MEN

Personal Best Time

Country

Moses Mosop

2:03:06 (Boston, 2011)

Kenya

Gebregziabher “Gebre” Gebremariam

2:04:53 (Boston, 2011)

Ethiopia

Markos Geneti

2:04:54 (Dubai, 2012)

Ethiopia

Ryan Hall

2:04:58 (Boston, 2011)

USA

Levy Matebo

2:05:16 (Frankfurt, 2011)

Kenya

Shami Abdullah Dawit

2:05:42 (Dubai, 2012)

Ethiopia

Dickson Chumba

2:05:46 (Eindhoven, 2012) CR

Kenya

Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot

2:05:52 (Boston, 2010)

Kenya

Wesley Korir

2:06:13 (Chicago, 2012)

Kenya

Raji Assefa

2:06:24 (Paris, 2012)

Ethiopia

Abdihakem “Abdi” Abdirahman

2:08:56 (Chicago, 2006)

USA

Mebrahtom “Meb” Keflezighi

2:09:08 (Houston, 2012)

USA

Jeffrey Hunt

2:11:00 (Beppu, 2010)

Australia

Jason Hartmann

2:11:06 (Chicago, 2010)

USA