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Female Rivals Set For Marathon Rematch

Kenyan Rita Jeptoo and Ethiopian Atseda Baysa will duel again this after a photo finish in 2012

By Marcus Riley
|  Friday, Oct 11, 2013  |  Updated 9:24 PM CDT
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After a neck-and-neck finish in the 2102 race, Rita Jeptoo, of Kenya, and Atseda Baysa, of Ethiopia talk about their matchup this year.

After a neck-and-neck finish in the 2102 race, Rita Jeptoo, of Kenya, and Atseda Baysa, of Ethiopia talk about their matchup this year.

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One of the main story lines of the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon will be the matchup in the women's race.

Rita Jeptoo, of Kenya, and Atseda Baysa, of Ethiopia, were neck and neck coming into the finish line for a thrilling photo finish, with Baysa breaking the tape at the finish line milliseconds ahead.

"It was the greatest competition in the history of the event," race director Carey Pinkowski said. "To have them back for a rematch, I can't wait."

But despite the intense rivalry, the two women are friends, and were joking with each other Friday while meeting with the press.

"Every thing that happens on Sunday -- we tried. With my friend, to push and to run good," Atseda said.

"Whether I win or she wins, I will be happy," Jeptoo added.

Atseda has had a great year so far, winning the Boston Marathon. But of course, her win was overshadowed the bombings, and she admits it is on her mind as she prepares for Chicago.

"I hope in Chicago there is not any problem," Atseda said. "I'm not happy because a lot of people had problems, injuries, some children died, some people died ... I want to say I'm very sorry that some people lost their families."

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