Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei clinches Silver in the women’s Elite London Marathon

Joyciline Jepkosgei, the London Marathon champion, finished second in this year’s race, which was won by Yalemzerf Yehualaw, Ethiopia’s world 10km record holder.

Jepkosgei finished the race in 2:18:07 while Yehualaw finished in 2:17:26.

Ethipia’s Alemu Megertu came in third at 2:18:32.

Kenyans Judith Korir, Joan Chelimo Melly, and Mary Ngugi finished fourth, fifth, and seventh, respectively.

The women’s race got off to a quick start. The lead pack of eight women, which included Yehualaw and defending winner Joyciline Jepkosgei, completed the first 5km in 16:01 and the 10km in 32:18. The early pace predicted a finish time of 2:16:15, comfortably within the women-only world record of 2:17:01, but the rate quickly dropped.

The same eight ladies stayed together for the entire 15km (48:51) and halfway (1:08:46). Hiwot Gebrekidan was unable to keep up with the pacemakers for much longer, and the lead group was reduced to seven women by 25km (1:21:29).

Yehualaw slipped over a bump on the road with around 10 kilometers to go and fell hard. She swiftly regained her footing and rejoined the lead pack a minute later.

Melly and Ashete Bekere were the next to fall off the pace, followed by Kebede, leaving only four women in the lead pack: Jepkosgei, Judith Jeptum, Alemu Megertu, and Yehualaw. They completed 35 kilometers in 1:54:30, and their estimated finish time is now less than 2:18:00.

Yehualaw began to pick up the pace after two hours of running. A blistering 4:43 split for the 24th mile shattered what was left of the lead pack, and the Ethiopian had a wide lead over Jepkosgei, with Megertu and Jeptum trailing.

Jepkosgei had only raced once this year, finishing seventh at the Boston Marathon in April. She won in London last year in 2:17:43, her second major marathon success after winning in New York in 2019.

Yehualaw and Jepkosgei had only faced once before, at the 2020 World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, where the Kenyan finished three places ahead of Yehualaw.

Brigid Kosgei, the world record holder and two-time London Marathon champion, was forced to withdraw from Sunday’s event owing to a slight hamstring strain.

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