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London Marathon announce ‘greatest women’s field ever assembled’

The Independent logo The Independent 02/02/2023 Sports Staff
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The star-studded line-up for this year’s London Marathon has been hailed as the “greatest field ever assembled” for a women’s distance race.

Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw will defend her title in April, with world record holder Brigid Kosgei and Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya also set to run

Reigning Olympic 10,000m and 5,000m champion Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands will make her marathon debut at the age of 30, with 1,500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba, 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana and Berlin Marathon champion Tigist Assefa also taking part.

Home hopes will be carried by Britain’s Eilish McColgan, the Commonwealth Games 10,000m champion, who will also be making her marathon debut.

"This is quite simply the greatest women’s field ever assembled for a marathon,” race director Hugh Brasher said.

He added it was “arguably the greatest field ever assembled for a women’s distance race”.

"We have two reigning Olympic champions, three world record holders and multiple national record holders, in addition to an incredibly strong British contingent led by Eilish McColgan,” Brasher said.

Meanwhile, four of the five fastest men in history will compete in the men’s race. Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, a three-time Olympic champion and the second fastest marathon runner in history, headlines a star-studded field that also includes compatriots Birhanu Legese and Mosinet Geremew.

While world record holder Eliud Kipchoge is absent, Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum is also on the start list, along with defending champion Amos Kipruto.

Double Olympic champion Hassan said she was considering both track and marathon options ahead of next year’s Olympic Games in Paris.

"I need to test myself over the marathon distance... I’m really excited to be making my marathon debut. It will be a step into the unknown in many ways for me but I’m looking forward to it," she added.

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