Jemima Sumgong back to London, Cheruiyot debut
LONDON (GBR): A stellar elite women’s field has been assembled for the Virgin Money London Marathon on 23 April, informs organisers. Kenya’s Jemima Sumgong (2:20:41 PB) will return to defend her title but will face opposition from a quartet of sub-2:20 performers: former winners Mary Keitany (2:18:37) and Aselefech Mergia (2:19:31) along with Florence Kiplagat (2:19:44) and reigning world champion Mare Dibaba (2:19:52). Former world and Olympic 10,000m champion Tirunesh Dibaba (2:20:35) will contest her first marathon since debuting in London three years ago and is joined by teammates Aberu Kebebe (2:20:30) and another former winner Tigist Tufa (2:21:52). World silver medallist Helah Kiprop (2:21:27) also competes while Olympic 5000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot will make her full marathon debut. Top non-Africans in the field include Portugal’s Ana Dulce Felix (2:25:15), Australia’s Lisa Weightman (2:26:05), Netherlands’ Andrea Deelsta (2:26:46), Switzerland’s Maja Neuenschwander (2:26:49) while Alyson Dixon (2:29:30) and Charlotte Purdue (2:30:04) are among the top Brits in action. “This is a stellar field and everyone who is anyone in women’s marathon running will be in London on 23 April. We look forward to a fantastic race and the London crowds are certain to be out in force to cheer home the world’s greatest runners,” said event director Hugh Brasher.
RunBlogRun opines: Jemima Sumgong is one of our favorite marathoners. In 2016, after falling, Jemima got up, and won London. In the heat and humidity of Rio, Jemima showed that she was the right pick for Kenyan marathon team. We look forward to seeing Jemima defend her Virgin London title in April 2017.