UNDER NO PRESSURE

Jepkosgei keen to defend London Marathon title

Last year, the 2016 Africa 10,000m bronze medallist obliterated a strong field to clinch the title in a personal best time of 2:17:43.

In Summary

• “My main focus this season was on this marathon and I have trained very well for it. I know I will perform well,” she said.

• Kosgei is the fastest in the field with her world record/personal best time of 2:14:04, ran at the 2019 Chicago marathon. 

Kenya's Joyciline Jepkosgei in action during the 2020 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland, in October 17
Kenya's Joyciline Jepkosgei in action during the 2020 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland, in October 17
Image: FILE

London Marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei will be seeking to defend her title in this edition set for October 2.

Last year, the 2016 Africa 10,000m bronze medallist obliterated a strong field to clinch the title in a personal best time of 2:17:43.

“My main aim is to defend my title and also lower my personal best,” Jepkosgei said.

Jepkosgei revealed she has invested a lot in training and expects this to repay handsomely on the streets of London.

“My main focus this season was on this marathon and I have trained very well for it. I know I will perform well,” she said.

Jepkosgei insisted she is not worried about the competition, where she will face the likes of compatriots Brigid Kosgei and Mary Ngugi, the Ethiopian duo of Degitu Azimeraw (2:17:58) and Ashete Bekere (2:17:58), who finished second and third respectively last year. Bekere finished second at the Tokyo Marathon in March.

Kosgei is the fastest in the field with her world record/personal best time of 2:14:04, ran at the 2019 Chicago marathon. Ngugi has a personal best time of 2:21:32 attained at this year’s Boston Marathon.

Commonwealth Games 10,000m winner Eilish McColgan will make her full marathon debut while another Ethiopian, Yalemzerf Yehualaw (2:17:23), will be making her London Marathon debut. McColgan aims to replicate her mother — Liz McColgan — who won the 1996 edition.

“I enjoy running with elite runners. The race will be tough and that means I can post a good time,” she said.

The 28-year-old said she does not feel any pressure after training under her supportive husband/coach, Nicholas Koech.

“My coach has been a great support system for me and with that, I do not feel any pressure. He is also my adviser,” Jepkosgei said.

Meanwhile, Jepkosgei disclosed she is yet to make a decision on the 2023 World Championships in Budapest and the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“After the marathon, my coach and management will sit down and decide what next,” Jepkosgei said.

Commonwealth Games 10,000m winner Eilish McColgan will also be making her London Marathon debut with the aim of replicating Liz McColgan’s (her mother) win in the 1996 edition.

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