After a historic Berlin Marathon where Eliud Kipchoge stamped his authority with a world record, attention shifts to London on Sunday.
The London Marathon will however be without world record holder Brigid Kosgei and a two-time runner-up (2020 and 2021) Vincent Kipchumba.
The two have withdrawn ahead of the Sunday race, due to injury.
With Brigid out of the way, defending champion Joyciline Jepkosgei will lead the Kenyan charges in the hunt for glory in London, another World Major Marathon where the country’s stars have dominated.
Brigid was eyeing a third win after claiming back-to-back victories in 2019 and 2020, but opted out of the 2022 edition following a hamstring injury that she says, has nagged her for the past one month.
Five days ago, the Olympic silver medallist told the London Marathon organisers that the minor hamstring injury had interrupted her preparation Sunday’s race.
According to London Marathon organisers, Brigid decided to withdraw from the race to avoid making the injury worse.
After the stunning victories in 2019 and 2020, Brigid’s shot at a third win turned unsuccessful after she placed fourth last year. She has now set her sights on the 2023 edition.
In March, she clinched the Tokyo Marathon in 2:16:02 - the fourth fastest time in history.
“I have been struggling over the past month with an issue in the hamstring of my right leg. My training has been up and down and not the way I would like to prepare to be in top condition for the 2022 TCS London Marathon,” Brigid said.
She continued: “We’ve decided it’s best that I withdraw from this year’s race and get further treatment on my injuries in order to enter 2023 stronger than ever.”
In 2019 she set the women’s world record of 2:14:04 at the Chicago Marathon.
Apart from Joyciline, who is eyeing a second title in London, Ethiopia’s Yalemzerg Yehualaw, the fastest marathon debutant in history will be lining up.
World silver medallist Judith Korir is a late entrant to the elite women’s field. She was initially scheduled to be a pacemaker in the London Marathon but decided to race the full distance.
It will be an opportunity for Korir to continue her rise in marathon.
Last year, Korir secured victory at the Abu Dhabi Marathon in November, barely five months after finishing second at the Eldoret City Marathon.
She went ahead to win this year’s Paris Marathon in April before saving Kenya’s face at the World Championships in Oregon.
In the men’s field, Kipchumba who was aiming at breaking a second-place jinx in London also withdrew due to injury.
Mosinet Geremew of Ethiopia – the world silver medallist, and who was third in last year’s London Marathon is also out of the race.