Kenya's Evans Cheruiyot will return to the 2011 Chicago Marathon after missing the race since his 2008 triumph due to injury, organisers of the October 9 race said on Wednesday.
Also announced as entrants were Kenya's Bernard Kipyego and Dickson Kiptolo Chumba plus Ethiopian men's stars Bazu Worku, Getu Feleke and Bekana Daba, Ireland's Martin Fagan and Australia's Shawn Forest plus Ethiopian women's stalwarts Askale Tafa, Atsede Habtamu Besuye and Belainesh Zemedkun Gebre.
"These athletes round out an elite field that is not only dynamic, but has the potential to attack the record books," race director Carey Pinkowski said.
"If the weather is good, there could be some reshuffling of not just the Chicago Marathon records, but also the list of all-time fastest certified marathons."
Cheruiyot won the 2008 Chicago crown in a personal best of 2 hrs 6 mins 25 secs but was sidelined by injuries in 2009 and 2010. He bounced back earlier this year with a runner-up effort at the Dubai Marathon.
Kipyego, runner-up at the 2009 world half-marathon championship, ran 2:07:01 in his full-distance debut at last year's Rotterdam Marathon and went 1:00:09 earlier this month at the Lille Half-Marathon in France.
Worku has the third-fastest personal best in the field at 2:05:25, behind Kenyan Moses Mosop's 2:03:06 and American Ryan Hall's 2:04:58. In 2009 at age 18, he became the fastest-ever teen marathoner at 2:06:16 in Paris, lowering the teen mark a year later in Berlin with his personal best.
Chumba won this year's Rome Marathon while Feleke, with a best of 2:05:44, set a course record of 2:05:44 last year at Amsterdam and Daba won the Houston Marathon.
Fagan, a Chicago pace-setter last year, will try to break the Irish national marathon record of 2:09:15 held by John Treacy while Forest makes his marathon debut after a half-marathon personal best of 1:01:25 earlier this year.
Besuye, who ran a personal best of 2:24:47 to win the 2009 Berlin Marathon, followed up last year with a victory at Eindhoven.
Tafa, winner of the 2007 Dubai and Paris marathons, has the second-fastest personal best in the women's field at 2:21:31, trailing only two-time defending champion Liliya Shobukhova of Russia.
Gebre won the 2010 Honolulu Marathon in her debut at the distance.
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