NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 24 – Kenya’s Stanley Biwott is the latest inclusion to the 2018 London Marathon men’s deep field scheduled to run April 22.
Organisers also confirmed that Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba will return to the IAAF Gold Label road race to compete in the women’s event where she will be seeking to better her last year’s second place finish.
Also joining Biwott as latest additions is Ethiopia’s Guye Adola. Biwott, the 2015 New York City Marathon champion, pushed his compatriot Eliud Kipchoge to within eight seconds of the world record at the 2016 London Marathon as the pair battled it out over the second half of the course.
The 31-year-old finished second to Kipchoge on that day in 2:03:51, making him the sixth fastest marathon runner in history. It was the second time Biwott finished runner-up at the London Marathon after trailing only Wilson Kipsang in 2014.
Adola is another man who has pushed Kipchoge to the limit. The 27-year-old looked on course for a shock win at last year’s Berlin Marathon before Kipchoge recovered to win in the final miles. Adola’s time of 2:03:46 was the fastest debut marathon ever.
The two will battle it out with defending champion the great Eliud Kipchoge who will be going for a record third consecutive title, Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele and Briton Sir Mo Farah who transited to marathon.
The women’s race will be very competitive as Dibaba, 32-year-old, who has three Olympic gold medals and five World Championship victories to her name on the track, is the first major name confirmed for the elite women’s race.
Dibaba has twice appeared in London before and has improved with each performance. She made her marathon debut in London in 2014, finishing third in 2:20:35 before returning last year and coming second behind Mary Keitany in an Ethiopian record of 2:17:56, putting her third on the world all-time list behind Paula Radcliffe and Keitany.
She returned to the track last summer to win a silver medal in the 10,000m at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 before picking up her first marathon win at the Chicago Marathon in October (2:18:31).
That victory put her joint top of the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AWMM) Series XI leaderboard which started with last year’s Virgin Money London Marathon and concludes after this year’s race, counting the results of the World Championship marathon plus the marathons in Berlin, Chicago, New York, Tokyo and Boston in between.
A win for Dibaba in London this year will ensure she would secure the AWMM Series XI title.