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Tigist Assefa and Tamerat Tola Leads London Marathon elites field

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Three of the top four fastest women in history will spearhead a charge to set a women-only world record at the TCS London Marathon – a World Athletics Platinum Label road race – on Sunday 21 April.

The challenge will be led by Ethiopia’s Tigist Assefa, who smashed the world record with 2:11:53 in Berlin last year, taking more than two minutes off Brigid Kosgei’s mark.

The two women are among a star-studded list of London-bound runners aiming to finish well inside the women-only world record of 2:17:01, set by Mary Keitany in the British capital back in 2017.

Others with eyes on the record include Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir, 2019 world champion Ruth Chepngetich, the fourth-fastest woman of all time, 2022 London Marathon champion Yalemzerf Yehualaw, and 2021 London Marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei.

Incredibly, 10 women in the field have PBs faster than 2:17:30. Multiple world and Olympic gold medallist Almaz Ayana, recent Dubai Marathon winner Tigist Ketema, fellow Ethiopian Megertu Alemu and Kenya’s Sheila Chepkirui are also in the line-up.

Pacemakers will be tasked with keeping the leading women on track for the women-only world record, which is possible at the London Marathon as the elite women run a separate race to the elite men and masses.

The elite men’s race is headlined by New York City Marathon champion Tamirat Tola, two-time New York City Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor, and Kenenisa Bekele, multiple world and Olympic gold medallist on the track.

Two-time world silver medallist Mosinet Geremew and Alexander Mutiso Munyao, who was runner-up at the 2023 Valencia Marathon in 2:03:11, are also on the entries, as are Ethiopia’s Dawit Wolde,

2019 Valencia winner Kinde Atanaw and world bronze medallist Leul Gebresilase.

Emile Cairess and Callum Hawkins are the fastest of the British entrants. Compatriot Marc Scott, the 2022 world indoor 3000m bronze medallist, will be making his marathon debut.

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