2022 Boston Marathon: World’s top women marathoners set for showdown

Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya celebrates as she crosses the finish line giving her the win of the Women's division of the 2021 TCS New York City Marathon.
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Look for a showdown between the best women marathoners in world at the 126th Boston Marathon on Monday.

The 2022 Boston Marathon, which returns to its customary date on Patriots Day – April 18 – for the first time since 2019, features 12 women on the start list that have posted times under 2.23.00. Additionally, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the first official women’s field, which featured just eight finishers in 1972.

Ahead of the race, here are a few names to know in the three elite women’s races (professional, wheelchair, and para athletics).

How to watch the 2022 Boston Marathon

The 126th Boston Marathon airs live Monday, April 18, beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET on USA Network, Peacock, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.

MORE BOSTON MARATHON COVERAGE: Thrilling women’s race determined in final seconds

2022 Boston Marathon women’s field highlighted by Olympic medalists

2020 Olympic gold medalist and 2021 New York City Marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir takes to the start line for her Boston Marathon debut along with fellow Kenyan runner Joyciline Jepkosgei, whose win at the 2021 London Marathon marked the the fastest time in the world last year.

“My high expectation is to be a winner, and I would like to arrive at the day of the race in my best shape,” said Jepchirchir.

Other top contenders include Tokyo bronze medalist Molly Seidel, a former Boston resident who became just the third American woman in history to medal in the Olympic marathon, former Boston Marathon champions Edna Kiplagat (2017) and Des Linden (2018), as well as sub-2:20 Ethiopian contenders Degitu Azimeraw and Ababel Yeshaneh.

Also poised to make a strong showing are Americans Nell Rojas, the top U.S. woman and sixth-place finisher in Boston in October, and Stephanie Bruce-Rothstein, who finished in the top 10 at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. Olympian and national record holder Malindi Elmore will represent Canada along with two-time Olympian Natasha Wodak, while England’s Charlotte Purdue comes in as the fastest European in the field and third fastest British marathoner of all-time.

ALSO FROM ON HER TURF: 2022 Boston Marathon celebrates 50th anniversary of official women’s division

Manuela Schär aims for repeat victory in women’s wheelchair division

In the women’s wheelchair division, Switzerland’s Manuela Schär will aim for her fourth Boston Marathon victory. Schär, a five-time Paralympic medalist, holds the world record and Boston Marathon course record of 1:28:17, set in 2017. She’ll face stern competition from 2020 Paralympic marathon gold medalist Madison de Rozario, who also made history last fall by becoming the first Australian woman to win the TCS New York City Marathon.

Tatyana McFadden, a five-time Boston winner and 20-time Paralympic medalist, was expected to be a top threat, but announced via Instagram that she is withdrawing from Monday’s race due to medical reasons.

Also competing in the women’s wheelchair division is American Paralympic 5000m gold medalist Susannah Scaroni.

Boston Marathon para athletics division features top finishers from October’s race

American Paralympian Liz Willis and trail runner Jacky Hunt-Broersma are both set to compete in this year’s Boston Marathon. During the pandemic, Hunt-Broersma became the first lower-limb impaired athlete to run 100 miles on a treadmill, running 23 hours and 38 minutes, and in 2020 she was named to the Boston Marathon’s Honorary Team.