NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 3 – World Record holder Brigid Jepkosgei and reigning Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir have been confirmed in the elite field for April’s London Marathon, one that has been deemed as the most competitive in recent history.
Kosgei, a two-time winner of the London Marathon in 2019 and 2020 returns after pulling out of last year’s event due to a hamstring injury and will be battling for a third title in the British capital.
Kosgei, also the 2021 Tokyo Marathon champion has tested herself over local races and feels fully fit to challenge for the title. This will be her fourth appearance in London.
Compatriot Jepchirchir also returns to competition after recovering from injury. She was due to compete at last year’s New York Marathon, but also pulled out due to injury, a muscle strain that made it difficult for her to train well.
She will be making her London debut, and will look to add another major marathon title to her collection.
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.
Another Kenyan confirmed for the race is World Silver medalist Judith Korir, also the reigning Paris Marathon champion. She also won the 2021 Abu Dhabi Marathon.
Meanwhile, competition for the Kenyans will not be short, with defending champion and world 10km record-holder Yalemzerf Yehualaw also confirmed to compete. Former track rivals Genzebe Dibaba and Almaz Ayana will also be in the line to hunt for their maiden victories in the marathon.
Ayana ran the fastest ever marathon debut in Amsterdam last year where she won the race in 2:17:20, finishing ahead of compatriot Dibaba who was second.
The field also includes Ethiopia’s Tigist Assefa, who won last year’s Berlin Marathon in a course record of 2:15:37 – a time which makes her the fifth-fastest marathon runner in history.
Dutch track star Sifan Hassan will meanwhile also make her debut in the marathon as she is confirmed in the elite list.