The London Marathon win will come from one of four women: Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei or Judith Korir or Ethiopia’s Degitu Azimeraw or Yalemzerf Yehualaw. They are not in contention because of the number of withdrawals due to injury, but because of their resumes. Jepkosgei brings a 2:17:43 best to the line and Korir 2:18:20.
Jepkosgei is the ninth-fastest in history behind only 12 other performances, three by Paula Radcliffe and two by fellow Kenyans including world record holder Brigid Kosgei (2:14:04) and Ruth Chepng’etich.
The 28-year-old Jepkosgei has run the half marathon in 64:51 and owns the world record and world best in the 10K and 20K at 29:43 and 61:25, respectively. Her road 5K best is a national record at 14:32.
She has run three marathons in her career, however, each one has been faster than the previous: 2:22:17 to win the New York Marathon in 2019, which was her debut. She ran 2:18:40 at the 2020 Valencia Marathon for second and 2:17:35 in London 2021.
Expect Jepkosgei to make a break for it after 34 or 35K to try to bury her competition.
Korir ran 2:18:20 in July at the 2022 World Athletics Championships where she took home a silver medal. It was a breakout performance, whereas her previous best was four minutes slower at 2:22:30 from the 2021 Abu Dhabi Marathon. In April, she set a new Paris course record with her time of 2:19:48. The only question about Korir will be about recovery. Sunday’s London Marathon will be her third competitive marathon in less than six months.
She started off the year with a solid half marathon in February at 1:05:28.
“We have got a mouthwatering battle between Joyciline and Kosgei. Kosgei showed she is back to her best with her win in Tokyo this year. However, Joycelline was also in brilliant form when she competed here last year,” event director Hugh Brasher.
World 10km record-holder Yalemzerf Yehualaw 🇪🇹 and defending @LondonMarathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei 🇰🇪 headline an incredibly deep women’s line-up on Sunday 👇— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) September 30, 2022
The Kenyans will face strong opposition from the Ethiopians. The best may be Yalemzerf Yehualaw, the world 10K record holder, who debuted in the marathon with a 2:17:23 performance for the win in Hamburg in the spring of 2022. She is the fastest women’s marathon debutant in history.
She is the current world record holder in the 10K (29:14) road race, sits second on the world all-time list at the half marathon (63:51) and seventh on the respective world all-time list for the marathon. Yehualaw runs well in temperate and hot conditions. She is a battler and is the most likely to win.
Degitu Azimeraw, who finished second to Jepkosgei at last year’s race and the 23-year-old has also run 2:19:56 in Valencia and 2:19:26 in Amsterdam in 2020 and 2021. Perhaps she has youth on her side.
One cannot count out Ashete Bekere. IN 2021, she took third in London with a 2:18:18 finish and was second earlier this year in Tokyo at 2:17:58.
- Yalemzerf YEHUALAW (ETH): 2:17:23
- Joyciline JEPKOSGEI (KEN): 2:17:43
- Degitu AZIMERAW (ETH): 2:17:58
- Ashete BEKERE (ETH): 2:17:58
- Joan Chelimo MELLY (ROU): 2:18:04
- Sutume Asefa KEBEDE (ETH): 2:18:12
- Alemu MEGERTU (ETH): 2:18:51
- Hiwot GEBREKIDAN (ETH): 2:19:10
- Anabel YESHANEH (ETH): 2:20:51
- Mary NGUGI (KEN): 2:21:32
- Charlotte PURDUE (GBR): 2:23:26
- Reia IWADE (JPN): 2:23:52
- Stephanie TWELL (GBR): 2:26:40
- Rose HARVEY (GBR): 2:27:20
- Marci KLIMEK (USA): 2:30:48
- Samantha HARRISON (GBR): 2:32:22
- Anna BRACEGIRDLE (GBR): 2:34:20
- Emma STYLES (GBR): 2:37:36
- Girmawit GEBRZIHAIR (ETH): Debut