World record-holder will be joined by Vivian Cheruiyot and Joyciline Jepkosgei in elite women’s field
World record-holder Brigid Kosgei hopes for another memorable year in 2020, starting at the Virgin Money London Marathon where she will defend her title on April 26.
The Kenyan clocked 2:18:20 to win in the UK capital last year and went on to smash Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year-old marathon world record at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in October with a time of 2:14:04.
Kosgei’s fine form had been on show in the UK the month prior as she ran the fastest ever half-marathon by a woman with 64:28 at the Great North Run.
“I am very much looking forward to returning to the Virgin Money London Marathon,” said the 25-year-old, who has finished in the top two at nine of the 10 marathons she has contested in her career so far.
“Last year was an incredible year for me and it started by winning in London.
“Coming back will be very special and I hope it can be the start of another memorable year.”
In another strong elite women’s field, Kosgei is set to be joined by four other sub-2:19 runners, while a further four have dipped inside 2:23 for 26.2 miles.
Kenya’s world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich is the next quickest on paper, thanks to her 2:17:08 PB from Dubai last year, while their compatriots Vivian Cheruiyot, the 2018 London Marathon champion and Olympic 5000m gold medallist, and three-time BMW Berlin Marathon champion Gladys Cherono have run respective times of 2:18.31 and 2:18.11 and will join them in London in April.
The field also features Ethiopia’s 2:18:30 Valencia Marathon winner Roza Dereje and Kenya’s world half-marathon record-holder and TCS New York City Marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei.
Spencer Barden, head of elite athletes at the London Marathon, said: “We are proud to have assembled another world-class elite women’s field for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon, led by our defending champion Brigid Kosgei.
“Brigid’s run at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon was one of the most remarkable athletic performances of recent years. Paula Radcliffe’s world record had stood for so long and was one of the great markers in modern athletics so for Brigid to beat it and beat it so comprehensively was incredible.
“It is a mouth-watering prospect to see what she can do on her return to the Virgin Money London Marathon. But there are plenty of other fantastic athletes in the field including the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot and the world champion Ruth Chepnegtich.
“To have five women who have run sub-2:19 and the TCS New York City Marathon champion on top of that illustrates the amazing depth we will have. This is a field that is truly fitting for our 40th race.”
This is the first of London Marathon’s ‘elite week’ announcements, with further athletes to be confirmed in the coming days.
Men’s marathon world record-holder and defending champion Eliud Kipchoge has already been announced and will bid for an historic fifth win in the UK capital.
Elite women’s field athletes confirmed for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon
Brigid KOSGEI (KEN) 2:14.04
Ruth CHEPNGETICH (KEN) 2:17.08
Gladys CHERONO (KEN) 2:18.11
Roza DEREJE (ETH) 2:18.30
Vivian CHERUIYOT (KEN) 2:18.31
Degitu AZIMERAW (ETH) 2:19.26
Ashete BEKERE (ETH) 2:20.14
Alemu MEGERTU (ETH) 2:21:10
Joyciline JEPKOSGEI (KEN) 2:22.38
Sinead DIVER (AUS) 2:24.11
Carla Salome ROCHA (POR) 2:24.47