- Several high profile Kenyan athletes will line up
- Amos Kipruto will look to defend his title
- The women’s charge is led by Brigid Kosgei and Peres Jepchirchir
After ruling in Boston last Monday, Kenyan athletes will look to dominate in London on Sunday morning with high profile names lining up in the men and women’s races.
The women’s race has just begun and the Kenyan charge is led by world record holder Brigid Kosgei, who is also a two-time London as well as Chicago champion.
She is joined in the race by Olympic champion and former New York and Boston champion Peres Jepchirchir.
Also in the women’s field Sheila Chepkirui and Paris Marathon World Championships silver medalist Judith Jeptum.
The women’s line-up features 10 women who have broken 2:19 for the marathon, six of them with sub-2:18 PBs
Kosgei, the winner in London in 2019 and 2020, admitted she may not be at her absolute best on Sunday, but she didn’t want to pass up the opportunity of racing in the British capital.
Suffering from injuries
“I was well prepared, but then some weeks back I was suffering in my hamstring and in my knee. I think the injury has become not so bad, that is why I tried to come here,” she said.
Meanwhile, Jepchirchir will be making her first appearance in London. The two-time world half marathon champion has won her past five marathons – a streak that includes the Olympic Games in 2021, the New York Marathon later that year, and the 2022 Boston Marathon.
The Ethiopian charge will be equally huge, and will be led by defending champion Yalemzerf Yehualaw as well as erstwhile track queens Almaz Ayana and Genzebe Dibaba.
Yehualaw made her marathon debut in April last year, clocking 2:17:23 to win in Hamburg. She followed that with a 2:17:26 triumph in London in October.
Two-time 10,000m world and Olympic champion Sifan Hassan will meanwhile make her Marathon debut.
Hassan, who won the world 1500m and 10,000m titles in 2019, already has some experience on the roads. She set a European half marathon record of 1:05:15 in 2018, then ran two sub-66-minute half marathons in 2019.
Elsewhere, Amos Kipruto will headline the men’s field as he seeks to defend the title he won last year.
Confident of defending title
“Winning last year’s TCS London Marathon was an incredible experience for me,” said the 30-year-old, who was second at last year’s Tokyo Marathon behind world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge and third in the 2019 World Championships. “London always has a really strong field and this year is the same so I know I will face a battle to defend my title, but I’m confident and looking forward to it,” he said.
Kipruto will be joined in the field by compatriots Kelvin Kiptum, the 2022 Valencia Marathon champion as well as two-time New York champion Geoffrey Kamworor.
Kiptum produced one of the biggest road running surprises of the year in 2022, winning in Valencia on his debut at the distance with 2:01:53 – a time that has only ever been bettered by Bekele and marathon legend Eliud Kipchoge.
The 23-year-old Kenyan hasn’t raced since then, but the quality of the field assembled for London could help bring about further improvements.
The Ethiopian charge in the race will be headlined by Kenenisa Bekele, who has the best personal time in the field as well as Birhanu Legese and reigning world champion Tamirat TGola.