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Kosgei, Jepkosgei headline stellar women’s cast at London Marathon

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 5 – World marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei and defending champion Joycelline Jepkosgei lead an elite women’s startlist that will clash at this year’s London Marathon on October 2.

Jepkosgei is the reigning champion of the World Marathon Majors (WMM) event, having clocked 2:17:43 to win last year’s edition.

Kosgei finished a disappointing fourth in the same race and will be keen to redeem herself with a second WMM title this year, after her win at March’s Tokyo Marathon.

The 2020 Chicago Marathon champion will be buoyed by the fact that she is this year’s fastest female marathoner thus far, having clocked a world leading time of 2:16:20 on her way to victory in the Japanese capital.

However, the threat of Kenya’s long-distance rivals, Ethiopia, is always lurking and London will be no different.

The pick of the bunch is world 10k record holder Yalemzerf Yehualaw whose 2:17:23 set on her way to victory at Hamburg Marathon is the fastest marathon debut for a female road racer.

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Also expected to give the Kenyan ladies a hard time is Degitu Azimeraw, who finished second to Jepkosgei at last year’s race.

Kosgei will be familiar with another Ethiopian, Ashete Bekere, who she beat at the Tokyo Marathon.

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Apart from Kosgei and Jepkosgei, other Kenyans hoping to excel in London include Mary Ngugi and Joan Chelimo.

Brigid Kosgei lunges forward to win the 2020 London Marathon title. PHOTO/London Marathon/Twitter

Commenting on the star-studded startlist, the marathon’s event director Hugh Brasher, predicted fireworks in the UK capital in three months’ time when the elite runners clash.

“We have got a mouthwatering battle between Joycelline and Kosgei. Kosgei showed she is back to her best with her win in Tokyo this year. However, Joycelline was also in brilliant form when she competed here last year,” Brasher said.

The marathon will also mark the road race debut for home girl Eilish McColgan who broke the European 10km record in May at the Greater Manchester Run, timing 30:19 in second behind double world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri.

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