Former world record-holder Wilson Kipsang and Chicago Marathon champion Brigid Kosgei are among the latest athletes added to the line-up for the Virgin Money London Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on 28 April.
Kipsang won the London Marathon in 2012 and 2014, setting a course record of 2:04:29 on his second triumph. In between those victories, he earned the Olympic bronze medal in 2012 and set a world record of 2:03:23 in Berlin in 2013.
Owner of four sub-2:04 marathon performances, Kipsang will be making his sixth appearance at the London Marathon and will line up against the man who now owns the course record and world record, Eliud Kipchoge.
“This will be a comeback race for me,” said Kipsang, who will also face multiple world and Olympic champion Mo Farah and last year’s runner-up Shura Kitata. “I’m focused on winning.”
Fellow Kenyan Brigid Kosgei will also return to the British capital. The 24-year-old finished second last year in 2:20:13 before going on to smash her PB with 2:18:35 when winning at the Chicago Marathon six months later.
Hawkins and Vernon feature in British charge
Callum Hawkins and Andy Vernon are among the leading British entries for the London Marathon.
Hawkins finished ninth in the marathon at the 2016 Olympic Games and improved to fourth at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 one year later, clocking a PB of 2:10:17.
He dramatically crashed out of the marathon at last year’s Commonwealth Games having led for most of the race, but his recent performances have shown that he is getting back to his best.
The London Marathon will be used as Britain’s selection race for the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 later in the year, so many of the country’s top distance runners will be keen to impress in the British capital.
Vernon, the 2014 European 10,000m silver medallist, will be making his marathon debut.
Dewi Griffiths, who ran 2:09:49 at the 2017 Frankfurt Marathon, and Jonny Mellor, Tsegai Tewelde, Andy Davies, Josh Griffiths, Robbie Simpson and Matt Sharp will also be on the start line.
The British women’s field promises to be just as competitive. After a year hampered by injury and illness, Charlotte Purdue will return to the London Marathon alongside Lily Partridge.
Just one second separates Purdue’s marathon PB of 2:29:23, set at the 2017 London Marathon, and Partridge’s best time of 2:29:24 which she ran to finish eighth in her first London Marathon last year.
Tracey Barlow and Sonia Samuels are the other elite British women confirmed for the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon.
Organisers for the IAAF