Brigid Kosgei defends London Marathon title after fending off world champion Ruth Chepngetich in late race surge but just misses out on world record in the dreadful wet conditions
- Brigid Kosegi’s crossed line with a time of two hours, 18 minutes and 58 seconds
- She missed out on world record in an all-female race by just under two minutes
- However difficult wet conditions in the capital saw her bid fall just short
- Kosegi had battled with Ruth Chepngetich for most of the London Marathon
- Sara Hall finished second for the United States after passing Chepngetich late on
Brigid Kosgei fell short of another world record but maintained her dominance of women’s marathon running with a convincing win in London on Sunday.
In pouring rain, the Kenyan defended her London Marathon title in two hours, 18 minutes and 58 seconds.
For around half the race, the 26-year-old was on course to add Mary Keitany’s 2:17.01 record for an all-female race to the 2:14.04 world mark she set in the mixed-sex marathon in Chicago last year.
But the pace slowed in the dreadful conditions, costing the event the uplift of a record after all the chaos of its staging.
For more than two-thirds of the race it was even at the front between Kosgei and the world champion Ruth Chepngetich, with their pair having burnt off Valary Jemeli after 10 miles.
Jemeli had been notable as an Adidas athlete in a sea of Nikes, but she was almost a minute down by halfway.
With only Kosgei and Chepngetich remaining as serious contenders, the latter attempted the first attack shortly after an hour on the course.
Kosgei pulled her back in with minimal discomfort before then launching a decisive break of her own around the 29km mark.
She quickly opened a 10-second lead in the race, and ultimately crossed in 2:18.57 with a winning margin of three minutes and three seconds from Sara Hall of the US, who passed Chepngetich in the final 100m.
Kosgei said: ‘The weather is not good. So we struggled. It’s wonderful to race. We have not prepared well due to the pandemic.
‘I struggled up to the moment I finished. I will be well-prepared for good results next year.’
Natasha Cockram was the leading Brit in 13th, finishing 2:33.19, which was outside the Olympic qualifying standard.