Joyciline Jepkosgei and Brigid Kosgei will arguably be the main protagonists at this year’s London Marathon after organizers announced an incredible women’s elite field containing nine women who have run under 2:20 for the marathon distance.
If it were a football match, it would currently be at a 1-1 draw between Kosgei, the world record holder for the marathon distance, who won the 2019 edition where Jepkosgei had failed to finish; and Jepkosgei who won the 2021 edition where Kosgei had finished fourth.
With her world-leading time of 2:16.02 which she ran at the Tokyo Marathon on 6th March, Kosgei has already shown that she is in good form this year. This, together with the experience of already having two past London victories (2019 and 2020), and the fact that she is currently ranked in position two in the world -behind Ruth Chepngetich and ahead of Peres Jepchirchir- could provide more confidence to Kosgei as she heads to the start line on 2nd October.
But Jepkosgei, the former world half-marathon record holder, could as well summon some confidence from the fact that she was able to defeat Kosgei in their last marathon race together, beating her in a faster time of 2:17:43 compared with the time Kosgei had beaten her in 2:18:20.
Yalemserf Yehualaw who holds the current 10K world record of 29:14 and is ranked number 1 in road running (half marathon, 5K, 10K, 15K and 20K) will be the other main contender to watch out for. Earlier this year, she ran 2:17:23 to win the 2022 Hamburg Marathon in her marathon debut which remains the fastest marathon debut time ever.
Most fans will also be watching out for Eilish McColgan, the European record holder in the 5K, the 10K and the 10 miles trying to make history again here in London 26 years after her mother Liz McColgan won the same marathon in 1996.
“I’m so excited to finally be taking part in the TCS London Marathon. I’ve been looking forward and planning the step up to the marathon distance over the past number of years and this year’s London Marathon comes at the perfect time after a busy summer on the track,” said McColgan.
Another debutant to watch out for here will be Ethiopia’s 20-year-old Girmawit Gebrzihair who has been having an incredible year starting with a win at the Ras Al Khaimah half marathon where she ran 1:04:14 to win the race, following it later with a world-leading time of 14:49.97 at altitude to win the Kip Keino Classic World continental tour event in Nairobi.
Degitu Azimeraw and Ashete Bekere are the other Ethiopians to keep a close eye on. The two have personal best times of under 2:18:00 and know the course well having finished second and third respectively last year.
“The elite women’s field at this year’s TCS London Marathon has so many incredible storylines. We’re all looking forward to watching Eilish McColgan follow in her mum Liz’s footsteps and seeing if she can translate her incredible form over the shorter distances on the road to the marathon.
“But we’ve also got a mouthwatering battle between two great champions, Brigid Kosgei and Joyciline Jepkosgei. Kosgei showed she is back to her best form with her win in Tokyo earlier this year, but Jepkosgei looked incredibly confident during her win here last year,” said Hugh Brasher, the event director of the TCS London Marathon.
The elite wheelchair athlete fields are expected to be announced on 6th July while the elite men’s field will be announced on Thursday 7th July.
Below is the announced women’s elite field
|Brigid KOSGEI||KEN||2:14:04 (WR)|
|Joan Chelimo MELLY||ROU||2:18:04|
|Sutume Asefa KEBEDE||ETH||2:18:12|