News02 Feb 2023

Debutante Hassan to face Kosgei, Yehualaw and Jepchirchir in strongest ever London Marathon field


Yalemzerf Yehualaw, Brigid Kosgei, Peres Jepchirchir, Almaz Ayana, Genzebe Dibaba and Sifan Hassan

Organisers of the TCS London Marathon have revealed their strongest ever line-up for their women’s event at the World Athletics Platinum Label road race on 23 April.

Among those taking part in the most star-studded race in the history of marathon running are defending champion and world 10km record-holder Yalemzerf Yehualaw, marathon world record-holder Brigid Kosgei and Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir.

In addition to that stellar trio, Olympic 5000m and 10,000m Sifan Hassan will be making her marathon debut, taking on former track rivals Genzebe Dibaba and Almaz Ayana.

“My victory at last year’s TCS London Marathon was a day I will never forget,” said Yehualaw. “I am very much looking forward to returning to London and being part of this amazing field.”

Hassan, who won the world 1500m and 10,000m titles in 2019, already has some experience on the roads. She set a European half marathon record of 1:05:15 in 2018, then ran two sub-66-minute half marathons in 2019.

“I am considering my plans for next year’s Paris Olympic Games with both the track and marathon options for me,” said the Dutch runner. “However, before I can make a final decision on which direction to go, I need to test myself over the marathon distance and I believe the best place for me to do that is in London with the best female marathon athletes around me.

“Stepping up to the marathon distance has always been in my plans and it doesn’t mean that I will be retiring from the track,” she added. “I am planning a track season this summer, but before that I’m really excited to be making my marathon debut at the TCS London Marathon. It will be a step into the unknown in many ways for me but I’m looking forward to it.”

Kosgei will be making her fourth appearance in London. The Kenyan won back-to-back titles in 2019 and 2020; between those appearances, she broke the world record with 2:14:04 in Chicago.

Fellow Kenyan Jepchirchir will be making her first appearance in London. The two-time world half marathon champion has won her past five marathons – a streak that includes the Olympic Games in 2021, the New York Marathon later that year, and the 2022 Boston Marathon.

Ayana and Dibaba made their marathon debuts in Amsterdam last year. Ayana, the 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion, won in a course record of 2:17:20, while world 1500m record-holder Dibaba was second in 2:18:05.

The field also includes Ethiopia’s Tigist Assefa, who won last year’s Berlin Marathon in a course record of 2:15:37 – a time which makes her the fifth-fastest marathon runner in history.

Britain’s Commonwealth 10,000m champion Eilish McColgan will be making her marathon debut, as will rising Ethiopian star Girmawit Gebrzihair, who ran a promising 1:04:14 on her half marathon debut last year.

Along with Kosgei, the line-up features three other national record-holders: USA’s Emily Sisson, Australia’s Sinead Diver and Canada’s Natasha Wodak. Keira D’Amato, who held the North American record before Sission broke it with 2:18:29 in Chicago last year, is also in the field.

In total, the 2023 London Marathon elite women’s field will feature 10 women who have run inside 2:19 and five who have gone under 2:18.

Elite women’s field

Brigid Kosgei (KEN) 2:14:04
Tigist Assefa (ETH) 2:15:37
Peres Jepchirchir (KEN) 2:17:16
Almaz Ayana (ETH) 2:17:20
Yalemzerf Yehualaw (ETH) 2:17:23
Genzebe Dibaba (ETH) 2:18:05
Sutume Asefa Kebede (ETH) 2:18:12
Judith Jeptum Korir (KEN) 2:18:20
Emily Sisson (USA) 2:18:29
Alemu Megertu (ETH) 2:18:32
Keira D'Amato (USA) 2:19:12
Sinead Diver (AUS) 2:21:34
Jess Piasecki (GBR) 2:22:27
Natasha Wodak (CAN) 2:23:12
Charlotte Purdue (GBR) 2:23:26
Susanna Sullivan (USA) 2:25:14
Ellie Pashley (AUS) 2:26:21
Stephanie Davis (GBR) 2:27:16
Maor Tiyouri (ISR) 2:29:04
Rosie Edwards (GBR) 2:31:56
Samantha Harrison (GBR) 2:32:22
Girmawit Gebrzihair (ETH) debut
Sifan Hassan (NED) debut
Eilish McColgan (GBR) debut
Dominique Scott (RSA) debut