London joy for Joyciline

Joyciline Jepkosgei stormed to victory in the Virgin Money London Marathon to take a huge stride towards the Abbott World Marathon Majors Series XIII title.

The TCS New York City Marathon champion added the London title to her CV in emphatic fashion, with defending champion Brigid Kosgei well-beaten in fourth place.

Jepkosgei clocked 2:17:43 ahead of Ethiopia’s Degitu Azimeraw and Ashete Bekere.

The Kenyan now draws level with Kosgei on 50 points at the top of the AbbottWMM leaderboard but holds the head-to-head advantage over the world record holder after today’s contest.

The 27-year-old began to make her move between the 35 and 40km mark of a race that featured the current Tokyo, New York and London champions, as well as Berlin’s 2019 winner Ashete Bekere.

Kosgei’s short turnaround from the Tokyo Olympics was always going to cast doubt over her readiness to make it three London titles in a row, and it proved to be so for the double Chicago and London champion, who began to lose touch with the leaders even before her compatriot took the initiative.

Jepkosgei’s winning time smashed her previous best of 2:18:40 in a race where the first five all dipped under 2:20.

“I’m so happy to be the winner," she said.

"I didn’t realise it was a personal best for me. A one-minute improvement is huge, but I was feeling great when I was training and I really thought I could do well here.”

“I’m very excited, but for me it was about my goal of self-achievement by improving my time this year.”