Brigid Kosgei ready for London Marathon hat-trick bid despite Olympic exertions

Brigid Kosgei insists she is well prepared and ready to defend her Virgin Money London Marathon title despite the short turnaround from the Olympics last month.

Sunday’s race comes just eight weeks after the Kenyan claimed marathon silver in Sapporo, where the runners endured hot and humid conditions.

Many competitors were unable to finish the Olympic race, and those that did were left fatigued but Kosgei believes she is ready to compete in London.

Kosgei won the London Marathon for the second time at the elite-only race in 2020
Kosgei won the London Marathon for the second time at the elite-only race in 2020 (Bob Martin/London Marathon/PA)

“First of all I want to say thanks because I have been invited to London again and I like London. Before I came here I was running in the Olympics last month, my body was still very tired but I did a lot of preparation to correct this,” Kosgei said.

“After the Olympics I went and had maybe two days’ break and then I continued practice. My training is going well and I have prepared well and I am ready for Sunday.”

Kosgei is looking to become only the second person after Germany’s Katrin Dorre-Heinig (1992-94) to win three successive London Marathons in the women’s race.

She added: “I love London so I would really like to do that here. I am ready as I have prepared well as I want to defend my title.”

Kosgei continued Kenya’s recent domination of the event when she first claimed victory in 2019 and defended her title the following year on an elite-only adapted course which looped St James’s Park.

The 27-year-old is also the women’s marathon world record holder with a time of 2:14:04, from the Chicago Marathon in 2019, but she admitted she is not targeting any records this weekend.

“No I don’t have any course record (as a target) because I come from the Olympics not far away, it’s just one month and something, so no preparation there which is good to prepare for the women-only record.”

Kosgei’s compatriot Joyciline Jepkosgei is the reigning New York City Marathon champion but she has chosen to race in London this time instead of in the United States and is looking forward to the challenge.

“Last year I ran New York so it was a pleasure for me to be invited to London,” Jepkosgei said.

“I’ve come here to do my best, this is my first time to run London. The course in London is so different to New York.”

This year will also see the return of spectators and fun runners as the course loops around the city centre, something Jepkosgei admits she prefers.

She said: “I like some spectators around to cheer you, they motivate so with the spectators and people running with you it gives you morale when you are running with them and I like running with them.”