London will reportedly be Radcliffe’s final marathon of her career.
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The elite women’s field announced Wednesday morning by the London Marathon, scheduled for Sunday, April 26, is as strong as the men’s field that was released last week, boasting seven athletes with sub-2:22 personal bests. Previous London champions Kenyans Edna Kiplagat (2:19:50 PB), Mary Keitany (2:18:37) and Priscah Jeptoo (2:20:14) are the leading ladies.
In addition, marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe of England will run her farewell marathon in London, organizers said, but she was not included (yet) in the elite field. London officials said she would announce her intentions for the race on January 30.
Kiplagat, 35, twice the world marathon champion, became last year’s London winner in her fourth appearance at the race. She prevailed over compatriot Florence Kiplagat (no relation) in a sprint finish on The Mall 2:20:21 to to 2:20:24.
“Winning my first London Marathon title on my fourth attempt last year was a special moment for me,” Kiplagat said through a statement provided by race organizers. “Now I have tasted success in London, I am determined to win again.”
Keitany, 32, made a noteworthy comeback from maternity leave last fall, winning the New York City Marathon in cold and very windy conditions. The tiny athlete from Iten in the Great Rift Valley won London in 2011 and 2012, and her winning time of 2:18:37 in 2012 makes here the second-fastest woman ever in London behind Radcliffe.
Jeptoo, 30, was the London winner in 2013, but was forced to drop out of last year’s race with a calf injury after tangling with a wheelchair racer at an aid station. She had planned to run New York last November (she was the reigning champion), but was forced to withdraw from the race with injury. She has been building up her fitness by doing a series of shorter races during the fall and winter.
Other athletes from the Kenyan squad include last year’s London runner-up Florence Kiplagat (2:19:44 PB), and last year’s New York runner-up Jemima Sumgong (2:20:41).
Leading the list of Ethiopian entrants is Feyse Tadese (2:20:27 PB), fourth at last year’s London race, and Tigist Tufa (2:21:52), who won last year’s Ottawa and Shanghai Marathons.
Race director Hugh Brasher also recruited a strong group of European woman, led by reigning European champion Christelle Daunay of France (2:24:22 PB). Other Europeans include Portugal’s Ana Dulce Félix (2:25:40) and Sara Moreira (2:26:00), Spain’s Alessandra Aguilar (2:27:00), Russia’s Tatyana Arkhipova (2:23:29), Ukraine’s Tetyana Gamera-Shmyrko (2:23:58) and Poland’s Iwona Lewandowska (2:28:32).
In all, seven women in the field have broken 2:22, 10 have broken 2:25 and 17 have broken 2:30. The complete field is listed below.
The London Marathon is part of the World Marathon Majors and is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.
Edna Kiplagat (Kenya) 2:19:50
Mary Keitany (Kenya) 2:18:37
Florence Kiplagat (Kenya) 2:19:44
Priscah Jeptoo (Kenya) 2:20:14
Feyse Tadese (Ethiopia) 2:20:27
Jemima Sumgong (Kenya) 2:20:41
Tigist Tufa (Ethiopia) 2:21:52
Tatyana Arkhipova (Russia) 2:23:29
Tetyana Gamera-Shmyrko (Ukraine) 2:23:58
Christelle Daunay (France) 2:24:22
Ana Dulce Félix (Portugal) 2:25:40
Sara Moreira (Portugal) 2:26:00
Alessandra Aguilar (Spain) 2:27:00
Volha Mazuronak (Belarus) 2:27:33
Rkia El Moukim (Morocco) 2:28:12
Iwona Lewandowska (Poland) 2:28:32
Diane Nukuri (Burundi) 2:29:35
Sonia Samuels (Great Britain & NI) 2:30:56
Emma Stepto (40+/Great Britain & NI) 2:32:40
Rebecca Robinson (Great Britain & NI) 2:37:14