World record holder Brigid Kosgei is aiming for a third successive victory in tomorrow's London marathon after emphatic wins in 2019 and 2020. Germany's Katrin Dorre was the last athlete to complete such a treble in the women's race with wins between 1992 and 1994.
2021 London Marathon: All you need to know
London marathon takes place on Sunday, October 3.
She will face stiff competition with Israel's Lonah Salpeter, the seventh-fastest woman over the distance, and the reigning New York City Marathon champion compatriot, Joyciline Jepkosgei who is hunting a first London win.
Kosgei insists she is up for the challenge just eight weeks after winning Olympic silver in hot, humid conditions in Sapporo, Japan.
"After one week, I was well recovered," she revealed in an interview with BBC.
"The big reason is I like too much London. I love London. I like the course. The way they welcome us. Even the race organisers. I like the place and how they cheer us on the way."
In last year's men's race, Ethiopia's Shura Kitata explained how he had hit the breakfast buffet hard to power himself to a surprise victory over the Greatest Marathon runner of All Time Eliud Kipchoge.
"Last year's win had very great meaning because Eliud is such a famous, strong runner," said Kitata.
"It has brought me strength in my psychological and physical preparation, and also a lot of attention from the public as well."
Four-time Virgin Money London Marathon champion Kipchoge may not be there this year after winning his second straight Olympic title last month in Sapporo, but even in his absence, London remains the best marathon on the planet.
Seven men in history have run 2:03:00 or faster in the marathon. Four of them will be on the start line on Sunday in London. It’s pretty insane.
Barely three years ago, the marathon world record was 2:02:57. In London this year, a 2:02:57 personal best (pb) makes you the third-fastest guy in the field.
And it’s not like any of these guys are washed up. Mosinet Geremew (2:02:55) and Birhanu Legese‘s (2:02:48) pb's are from 2019. Evans Chebet‘s (2:03:00) is from 2020. And Titus Ekiru‘s (2:02:57) is from May. All of these guys should (hopefully) be ready to roll on Sunday.
Throw in a couple more sub-2:04 guys in Sisay Lemma (2:03:36) and Kinde Atanaw (2:03:51) and that means there are six sub-2:04 guys in total – the most ever on the start line of any marathon. Add in the defending champ in Kitata (2:04:49) and it should be quite the race on Sunday.