London Marathon Men's and Women's Elite Race Preview

Posted by: Watch Athletics

Defending champion Joyciline Jepkosgei and the fastest-ever marathon debutant Yalemzerf Yehualaw will highlight the women’s race at the TCS London Marathon on 2 October 2022, a World Elite Platinum Label race. The line-up features nine sub-2:20 runners. 

Former world half marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei won last year’s edition of the London Marathon in 2:17:43, setting her lifetime best and the fastest time in the world in 2021. Jepkosgei won the New York Marathon in 2019 at 2:22:38.

Joyciline Jepkosgei: “I am so excited to be here again for the 2022 London Marathon. My preparation has been going well. I am hoping to do well on Sunday”. 

Yehualaw broke the world 10 km record of 29:14 in Castellon last February and set the fastest ever marathon time on debut with 2:17.23 in Hamburg last April. She won the Antrim Coast Half Marathon at 1:04:22 on 28 August. 

Ashete Bekere returns to the British capital after finishing third last year in 2:18:18. Bekere finished runner-up behind Brigid Kosgei at last March’s Tokyo Marathon in her lifetime best of 2:17.58. 

The line-up also features sub-2:20 runners Joan Cherono Melly from Romania (winner in Seoul 2022 in her PB of 2:18:04), Sutume Asefa Megertu (second in Seoul 2022 in 2:18:12), Alemu Megertu (winner in Seville 2022 in 2:18:51), Hiwot Gebrekidan (fifth in Tokyo 2022 in 2:19:10) and former world half marathon record holder Ababel Yeshaneh, second in Chicago in 2019 in 2:20:51 and fifth at the World Half Marathon in Gdynia in 2020. 

British runner Charlotte Purdue returns to London, where she finished 10th   becoming the fourth British women’s marathon runner in history with 2:23:26. Purdue was the British top finisher in London in 2019 and 2021 and also finished ninth at the Boston Marathon in 2:25:26. She was forced to drop out of the World Championships as she caught Covid-19. The other top British athletes in the field are Rose Harvey, who ran her first sub-2:30 race in London last year at 2:29:45 and improved her PB to 2:27:17, and Stephanie Twell ranked sixth on the UK all-time list with her PB of 2:26:40 set in Frankfurt in 2019. 

Charlotte Purdue: “I am focused on a fast time, but I also want to finish higher up.” 

Eilish McColgan will make her marathon debut after winning the gold medal in the 10000m and silver in the 5000m at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and two silver medals in the 5000m and 10000m at the European Championships in Munich. She set national records over 5 km with 14:45 in Malaga, 10 km with 30:19 at the Great Manchester Run, and in the half marathon with 1:06:26 in Ras Al Khaimah this year. Her mother, Liz McColgan, won the London Marathon in 1996.  

Girmawit Gebrzihair will make her marathon debut after winning the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon at 1:04:14 last February. 

Judith Korir, who won the world silver medal in Eugene in 2:18:20 and triumphed at the Paris Marathon last April in 2:19:47, was originally planning to run as a pacemaker but has now decided to run the entire distance. 

Two-time London Marathon winner Brigid Kosgei has pulled out of the London Marathon due to injury. 

Men’s race: 

Last year’s London Marathon winner Sisay Lemma will defend his title in the men’s race. Before his triumph in the British capital in 2021 in 2:04:01, Lemma had won in Frankfurt in 2:06:26 and Vienna in 2:07:31 in 2015 and finished third in three different World Marathon Majors in Berlin in 2019 in his lifetime best of 2:03:36, Tokyo in 2:04:51 and in London in 2:05:45 in 2020. Lemma has taken part in 21 marathon races in his career. 

The 31-year-old Ethiopian runner will take on three-time Olympic champion and former 5000 and 10000m world record holder Kenenisa Bekele, the second fastest marathon runner in history with his lifetime best of 2:01:41 set in Berlin in 2019. Bekele finished third in 2016 in 2:06:36 and second in 2017 in 2:05:57 in his previous two appearances at the London Marathon. 

Lemma and Bekele will be joined by their compatriots, Birhanu Legese and Mosinet Geremew. Legese is the third fastest runner in history, with his PB of 2:02:48 set in Berlin in 2019. He won the Tokyo Marathon at 2:04:48 in 2019 and finished fifth in London at 2:06:10 in 2021. Geremew finished third in London in 2021 at 2:04:41 and won the Seoul Marathon in 2022 at 2:04:43. 

Bashir Abdi from Belgium will make his debut in London after winning bronze medals at the Olympic Games in Tokyo at 2:10:00 and the World Championships in Eugene at 2:06:48. Abdi set the European record of 2:03:36 in Rotterdam in October 2021. 

Bashir Abdi: “I had a two-and-a-half-week break after the World Championships, but it was not easy to re-start training. Every part of my body was hurting. I felt like I had never run before, and I was a little worried I would never get my shape back. It came back, and I am pleased with what I have done in the past five weeks. I went to Font Romeu in France until yesterday, training with my team”. 

The line-up is completed by 2019 world bronze medallist Amos Kipruto (second in Tokyo behind Eliud Kipchoge in 2:03:13 last March), Kinde Atanaw (winner in Valencia in 2019 in 2:03:51), and Leul Gebresilase (second in Dubai in 2018 in 2:04:02 and Rotterdam in 2022 in 2:04:56). 

Four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah has pulled out of the London Marathon due to a hip injury. 

Mo Farah: “I have been training hard over the past few months, and I had got myself back into good shape and was feeling pretty optimistic about being able to put in a good performance. I have had extensive physio and treatment and done everything I can to be on the start line, but it has not improved to compete on Sunday. It’s disappointing to withdraw after a good few months and my win at the Big Half, but I love racing in front of my home crowd in London, who always gives all of us athletes such amazing support”. 

On Sunday morning, about 40000 runners will take partba the 42nd edition of the London Marathon.

Women's Elite Field

  1. Joyciline JEPKOSGEI - KEN - 2:17:43
  2. Yalemzerf YEHUALAW - ETH - 2:17:23
  3. Ashete BEKERE - ETH - 2:17:58
  4. Joan Chelimo MELLY - ROU - 2:18:04
  5. Sutume Asefa KEBEDE - ETH - 2:18:12
  6. Judith Jeptum KORIR - KEN - 2:18:20
  7. Alemu MEGERTU - ETH - 2:18:51
  8. Hiwot GEBREKIDAN - ETH - 2:19:10
  9. Mary NGUGI - KEN - 2:21:32
  10. Charlotte PURDUE - GBR - 2:23:26
  11. Reia IWADE - JPN - 2:23:52
  12. Ai HOSODA - JPN - 2:24:26
  13. Stephanie TWELL - GBR - 2:26:40
  14. Rose HARVEY - GBR - 2:27:20
  15. Marci KLIMEK - USA - 2:30:48
  16. Emma STYLES - GBR - 2:37:36

Men's Elite Field

  1. Sisay LEMMA - ETH - 2:03:36
  2. Kenenisa BEKELE - ETH - 2:01:41
  3. Birhanu LEGESE - ETH - 2:02:48
  4. Amos KIPRUTO - KEN - 2:03:13
  5. Bashir ABDI - BEL - 2:03:36
  6. Kinde ATANAW - ETH - 2:03:51
  7. Leul GEBRESILASE - ETH - 2:04:12
  8. Naoki OKAMOTO - JPN - 2:08:04
  9. Naoki AIBA - JPN - 2:08:44
  10. Kohei FUTAOKA - JPN - 2:09:14
  11. Brett ROBINSON - AUS - 2:10:55
  12. Weynay GHEBRESILASIE - GBR - 2:12:17
  13. Mohamud AADAN - GBR - 2:12:20
  14. Jia ERENJIA - CHN - 2:12:44
  15. Philip SESEMANN - GBR - 2:12:58
  16. Edward GODDARD - AUS - 2:13:45
  17. Matthew LEACH - GBR - 2:15:31
  18. Ross BRADEN - GBR - 2:16:48
  19. Tony Ah-Thit PAYNE - THA - 2:16:56
  20. Andrew MCCANN - USA - 2:17:35
  21. Alexander LAWRENCE - GBR - 2:17:41
  22. William STRANGEWAY - GBR - 2:18:01
  23. Nick BOWKER - GBR - 2:18:09
  24. Matthew CREHAN - GBR - 2:18:16
  25. Kieran WALKER - GBR - 2:19:36
  26. Yoann KOWAL - FRA - Debut
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