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10 Athletes to Watch at the London Marathon 2021

The London marathon that was rescheduled from its normal tradition in April is now set to be held on Sunday, October 3rd in England with more than 50,000 runners on the traditional course from Greenwich to the mall with other 50,000 participants competing in 26.1 km miles on the course of their choice anywhere in the world over the day.

Many of the best marathoners in the world will race through the streets of London on Sunday, October 3rd in what will be the second consecutive fall edition of the London Marathon. As usual, the elite field is stacked in both the men’s and women’s races.

The following are among the athletes to watch in the elite men’s marathon competition this year.

Shura Kitata


Kitata is an Ethiopian Long-distance runner having made his debut in athletics in 2015, He has competed in several marathon competitions including the 2018 London marathon where he finished in the second position after Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge and The 2020 London marathon where he won the race clocking 2:05:41 beating Kipchoge to secure his first victory at the London marathon.

There’s not much to separate Kitata from the other athletes in this category having personal bests quicker than him and also having an impressive array of podium finishes.

He ran at the Olympics but didn’t finish the race.

Vincent Kipchumba

Kipchumba is a Kenyan long-distance runner.


He won the Amsterdam marathon in 2019 clocking 20:05:09 and also won the Adana Half Marathon and Vienna City Marathon.

Sisay Lemma

Sisay, an Ethiopian marathoner made started his career at the age of 17.

He won the Maratona d’Italia in 2012 and in 2013, he was fifth in the Tiberias Marathon. Also won the Orlen Warsaw Marathon and finished fourth at the Eindhoven Marathon.

In 2020, he finished third at the Tokyo Marathon on 1 March at 2:04:51.

In London Marathon 2020, he finished in third place with a time of 2.05:45.

Birhanu Legese

He is also from Ethiopia currently part of the NN Running Team which is managed by Global sports communications.

Legese has won various several international races, including the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in 2016.

In 2019, Legese won the Tokyo Marathon at 2:04:48, and in 2020 he successfully defended his title at Tokyo and won with a time of 2:04:15.

Mosinet Geremew

Geremew an Ethiopian Athlete started his career in the cross country making his debut in the 2010 IAAF World cross country championship where he was placed in the 16th position overall.

He became the first person to win twice at the Yangzhou Jianzhen International Half Marathon, winning four times in a row, including a course record of 59:52 minutes – the fastest achieved in a Chinese race.

In 2018 he gained major popularity after winning the Dubai Marathon clocking 2:04:00.

In the 2019 London Marathon, he finished in the third position behind Eliud Kipchoge recording 2:02:55 this being the third-fastest time in the marathon history in the world.

The elite women’s race is expected to feature the following athletes;

Brigid Kosgei


Brigid, a Kenyan marathon runner has participated in multiple international marathon races.

She won the 2018 and 2019 Chicago Marathon and the 2019 and 2020 London marathon making her a marathon world record holder with a time of 2:14:04.

Kosgei finished in the second position in the Tokyo Olympics clinching a silver medal after Peres Jepchirchir who won the gold medal in the race.

She’s experienced, familiar with the course, and has a personal best four minutes faster than anyone in the field. The quick turnaround between races might be the only thing that can knock her off course.


Lonah Chemutai Salpeter

Chemtai, a Kenyan-Israel long-distance runner has recently participated in and won several marathon competitions including Tuscany Camp Half Marathon in Siena, Italy, with a time of 1:07:09 in February 2021 and Agmon Hahula Marathon in Hula Valley with a time of 2:22:37 and qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.

She stood 66th in the women’s marathon 2020 Tokyo Olympics Marathon at the Tokyo Olympics with a time of 2:48:31. She was in the front pack of runners with four kilometers to go when she had to pause due to menstrual cramps.


Roza Dereje

The Ethiopian Marathon runner has won several times in different marathon competitions including the Shanghai Marathon where she won in 2016 and 2017 consecutively.

She also won the Dubai Marathon in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates with a time of 2:19:17 which was a new course record at the time. The record was broken by Ruth Chepngetich’s setting time record of 2:17:08.

She finished in 4th place in the women’s marathon at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.


Joyciline Jepkosgei

Jepkosgei is a Kenyan marathon runner who competes over distances from 10,000 meters to the marathon. She is the current half-marathon world record holder in contests with mixed-gender fields with her personal best of 64:51 minutes, and additionally the record holder in the 10 km with 29:43 minutes.

She recently competed in the women’s half marathon at the 2020 World athletics half marathon championships held in Gdynia, Poland

She is a member of the Kenya Defense forces.

Birhane Dibaba

Dibaba is also from Ethiopia specializing in road running events.

At the 2014 Tokyo Marathon, She ran a personal best time of 2:22:30 hours for second place, behind Ethiopian teammate Tirfi Tsegeye. She was selected for the Ethiopian women’s marathon team along with three other 2015 women’s marathon winners at the 2015 World Championship in Athletic.


Since 2006, the elite race has been part of the World Marathon Majors, which includes six of the world’s top-level marathon races. The London Marathon has seen the Marathon World Record broken on seven occasions: Khalid Khannouchi broke the men’s record is 2002, while women’s records have been broken by Grete Waitz (1983), Ingrid Kristiansen (1985), Paula Radcliffe  (2002, 2003, 2005) and Mary Jepkosgei Keitany (2017). The current elite course records are held by Eliud Kipchoge (2:02:37 in 2019) and Paula Radcliffe (2:15:25 in 2003). The current wheelchair course records are held by Kurt Fearnley (1:28:57 in 2009) and Manuela Schar (1:39:57 in 2017).

The 2020 London Marathon was postponed and only allowed elite participants due to the covid-19 outbreak.


Elias Makokha is a professional Media Practitioner venturing into Corporate Communications, Radio Broadcast and Digital content creation with a keen interest in videography, photography and online Writing. He works well individually and collaboratively with his juniors, peers and seniors. He adheres to the hallmarks of journalism and accurately reports by conducting fact checks from reputable sources before publishing.

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