Kipruto to defend London Marathon title
What you need to know:
- Kipruto reckons that he will be facing experienced runners who have once reigned at the World Marathon Major races.
- “I know it will be an explosive affair being the man to beat, but I am confident and looking forward to it," said Kipruto.
Kenya’s Amos Kipruto will defend his London Marathon title on April 23 this year.
The 30-year-old is among the elite distance runners heading to the British capital for the race that is back to its traditional month of April after the last three editions were held in October.
Kipruto celebrated his maiden World Marathon Majors victory when he won in London in a time of two hours, 04 minutes and 39 seconds on October 2, 2022.
Kipruto, who ran a personal best of 2:03:13 when he finished second behind four-time London Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge in Tokyo on March 6 last year, will be joined by home athlete Mo Farah and Ethiopian legendary distance runner Kenenisa Bekele.
“London Marathon will remain special for me because that is where I won my first World Marathon Majors (WMM) race,” said Kipruto, who is preparing for the title defence in Kapsabet.
“It is my great pleasure to return to London for yet another hunt.”
Kipruto reckons that he will be facing experienced runners who have once reigned at the World Marathon Major races.
“I know it will be an explosive affair being the man to beat, but I am confident and looking forward to it," said Kipruto.
Also in contention at this year’s London Marathon is 2017 and 2019 New York City Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor, who will be making his debut, and World marathon champion Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia, who returns to London after finishing sixth in the 2019 and 2020 editions.
Kipruto and Kamworor, 30, will also be joined on the start line by compatriots Kelvin Kiptum, 23, who produced the fastest marathon debut time in history (2:01:53) when he claimed victory in Valencia in December, and Vincent Kipchumba, a second place finisher in the 2020 and 2021 London Marathons.
Bekele, 40, and Tola, 31, who is chasing his first WMM victory, will be joined by fellow countrymen Birhanu Legese, the 2019 and 2020 Tokyo Marathon champion, and 2019 and 2022 World Marathon silver medallist Mosinet Geremew.
Legese (2:02:48) and Geremew (2:02:55) have run under Kipruto's winning time of 2:04:39 last October.
Bekele, who won in Berlin in 2016 and 2019 and Farah, the 2018 Chicago Marathon champion, are yet to win in London, where Farah finished second in 2018 with Bekele settling third in 2016 and second in 2017.
Bekele will be the fastest in the field by virtue of being the second-fastest man in history after Kipchoge from his exploits of 2:01:41 at the 2019 Berlin Marathon.
Kipchoge set a new world record time of 2:01:39 when he won the 2018 Berlin Marathon and would further lower the record with an explosive performance of 2:01:09 at the same course last year.
Kamworor’s last marathon race was at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon on July 17 where he finished fifth, his second race over the distances last year after settling 18th in Chicago in April.
It will be Kipchumba's first race since finishing second during the 2021 London Marathon.
He withdrew from last year's race at the last minute with an injury, leaving Kipruto to battle alone to victory.
2023 London Marathon Elite field
Amos Kipruto (Kenya) 2:03:13
Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia 2:01:41
Kelvin Kiptum (Kenya) 2:01:53
Birhanu Legese (Ethiopia) 2:02:48
Mosinet Geremew (Ethiopia) 2:02:55
Tamirat Tola (Ethiopia)2:03:39
Kinde Atanaw (Ethiopia) 2:03:31
Leul Gebresilasie (Ethiopia) 2:04:02
Vincent Kipchumba (Kenya) 2:04:28
Seifu Tura (Ethiopia) 2:04:29
Mo Farah (Great Britain) 2:05:11
Geoffrey Kamworor (Kenya) 2:05:23
Yuki Kawauchi (Japan) 2:07:07
Brett Robinson (Australia) 2:07:31
Dewi Griffiths (Great Britain) 2:09:49
Rory Linkletter (Canada) 2:10:24
Chris Thompson (Great Britain) 2:10:52
Tom Groschel (Great Britain) 2:11:03
Ben Connor (Great Britain) 2:11:20