Jepkosgei, Kosgei to clash in London Marathon

Joyciline Jepkosgei

Kenya's Joyciline Jepkosgei crosses the line to win the women's race of the 2021 London Marathon in central London on October 3, 2021.
 

Photo credit: Glyn Kirk | AFP

What you need to know:

  • The other Kenyan in the race is Mary Ngugi, 33, who for the second consecutive time, came third during the Boston Marathon on April 18, but this time around in a personal best of 2:21:32.
  • The Kenyans will take on the fastest-ever female marathon debutant Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who leads a horde of Ethiopian runners to the London streets.

Defending champion Joyciline Jepkosgei will confront two times champion and world record holder Brigid Kosgei at this year's London Marathon on October 22 in the British capital.

Jepkosgei, who claimed her maiden victory in the British capital in a personal best and eighth fastest time of two hours, 17 minutes and 43 seconds last year, and Kosgei, the 2019 and 2020 winner, are part of the elite field heading for the race.

Jepkosgei became the 10th Kenyan woman to win the London Marathon on her third appearance in 2019.

In the same year, she won the New York Marathon in 2:22:38 and finished second at the Valencia Marathon (2:18:40).

Kosgei, who set the world record of 2:14:04 at the 2019 Chicago Marathon, finished a surprise fourth last year, but bounced back to win this year’s Tokyo Marathon in a world-lead time of 2:16:02.

Jepkosgei, 28, joined the long list of Kenyan athletes who have won the London Marathon; Joyce Chepchumba (2), Tegla Loroupe (1), Margaret Okayo (1), Keitany (3), Prisca Jeptoo (1), Edna Kiplagat (1), Jemima Sumgong (1), Vivian Cheruiyot (1) and Kosgei (2).

“It was a great achievement for me,” said Jepkosgei on the London marathon website.

“It was not an easy race.There were a lot of strong competitors and I stayed with them until there were only a few kilometres left."

“Then I was on my own. It was hard, but the cheerers around me kept me motivated and got me to the end. I was so happy to get to the finish line.”

Jepkosgei’s delight at winning was hard to miss and stayed with her throughout the night:

“I didn’t sleep at all, I was so happy,” she said.

“This achievement will stay with me forever. It was a great achievement and will last a lifetime.”

The other Kenyan in the race is Mary Ngugi, 33, who for the second consecutive time, came third during the Boston Marathon on April 18, but this time around in a personal best of 2:21:32.

The Kenyans will take on the fastest-ever female marathon debutant Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who leads a horde of Ethiopian runners to the London streets.

The 22-year-old Yehualaw is the current 10K world record holder (29:14) and ran 2:17:23 to win the Hamburg Marathon in April, the fastest marathon debut ever.

Ethiopian duo Degitu Azimeraw and Ashete Bekere, who finished second and third last year, also return.

Bekere finished second behind Kosgei at this year’s Tokyo Marathon in a personal best of 2:17:58.

ELITE FIELD

Brigid Kosgei (Ken) 2:14:04 (WR)
Yalemzerf Yehualaw (Eth) 2:17:23
Joyciline Jepksogei (Ken) 2:17:43
Degitu AZIMERAW (Eth)               2:17:58
Ashete BEKERE (Eth) 2:17:58
Joan Chelimo MELLY ROU 2:18:04
Sutume Asefa KEBEDE (Eth) 2:18:12
Alemu MEGERTU (Eth) 2:18:51
Hiwot GEBREKIDAN (Eth) 2:19:10
Ababel YESHANEH (Eth)    2:20:51
Mary NGUGI (Ken) 2:21:32

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