NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 3 – Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei overcame a deep field assembled at this year’s event to clinch the 2021 women’s London Marathon title in a Personal Best time of 2hr, 17min, 43sec as defending champion and World Record holder Brigid Kosgei finished fourth.
Jepkosgei, the reigning New York Marathon champion established an insurmountable lead late on to win her second career marathon, beating the Ethiopian duo of Degitu Azimeraw who finished second in 2hr 17min 58sec and compatriot Ashete Bekere who came third in 2hr 18min 18sec.
Brigid Kosgei, who was the pre-race favorite, having won silver at Tokyo Olympics, failed on her bid to win a hat-trick of London Marathon titles, only fading to fourth in 2hr 18min 40sec.
She was aiming to become the first woman to win three consecutive London Marathon titles since Germany’s Katrin Doerre in 1994.
The London Marathon returned to normality for the first time since 2019 after being held without amateur runners or spectators last year due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The pandemic forced the event to be moved from April to October in 2020, with a small number of elite runners completing laps around St James’s Park.
The elite women set a ferocious early pace, completing the first 10 miles in 52min 10sec.
Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, Kosgei, Jepkosgei, Bekere and Azimeraw formed a breakaway group after half-way.
Jepkosgei, the former World Half Marathon Record holder, broke away after 1hr 55min, establishing an insurmountable lead with a few miles to go.
It is the first time five women have completed the London Marathon in under 2hr 19min.