Kenya's world record holder Brigid Kosgei, pictured en route to a second London Marathon win last year, will seek a hat-trick on Sunday ©Getty Images

Kenya’s world record holder Brigid Kosgei, who earned marathon silver at the Tokyo 2020 Games just over eight weeks ago, says she is well prepared to seek a third consecutive London Marathon victory on Sunday (October 3).

"After running the Olympics last month, I was still very tired," she said at the elite women’s press conference.

"But after taking a two-day break, I continued doing practice and my training has been going well, so I am ready."

If Kosgei, who lost the Olympic title by 16 seconds to compatriot Peres Jepchirchir, can win again on the traditional course between Blackheath and The Mall after her victory on the closed, looped course in St James’s Park that enabled the event to go ahead during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, she will secure a hat-trick to match that achieved by Germany’s Katrin Dorre between 1992 and 1994.

"I have come to London to try my best and I would be happy to win again," she said, although she appeared not to confirm that the women-only race world record of 2 hours 17min 1sec, set at the 2017 London Marathon by the recently retired fellow Kenyan Mary Keitany, would be a target.

Joyciline Jepkosgei, pictured winning her debut marathon in New York in 2019, will run her first London Marathon on Sunday ©Getty Images
Joyciline Jepkosgei, pictured winning her debut marathon in New York in 2019, will run her first London Marathon on Sunday ©Getty Images

"No, I don’t have any course record in mind," she said, adding: "I come from running the Olympics not far away, just one month and something…"

She did however pay tribute to Keitany, who herself secured three London Marathon titles between 2011 and 2017.

"Mary is a good lady and she has always been an encouragement," Kosgei said, before appearing to go back on her take regarding the course record.

"She just encouraged us to work hard so that we can break her record for women only. 

"That’s why we are here to try and make it if we can make the time."

Whatever Kosgei does achieve on Sunday, she will do so with a clearer head than she had in this race last year.

"Speaking personally I didn’t like the loops last year," she said.

"Last year I went around and around and around and my head was turning, turning.

Not this time – no loops!

"I’m going straight, and I really, really appreciate that," she proclaimed.

Last year's London Marathon was held on a closed loop due to COVID-19 restrictions ©Getty Images
Last year's London Marathon was held on a closed loop due to COVID-19 restrictions ©Getty Images

Sitting alongside Kosgei was compatriot Joyciline Jepkosgei, the former half marathon world record holder who stepped up to the marathon with immediate effect by winning the 2019 New York race.

Jepkosgei, who set a marathon personal best of 2:18:40 in finishing second at last year’s race in Valencia, offered evidence of her sharp form by winning the Berlin Half Marathon on August 22 in a course record of 1:05:16.

"Running that half marathon was the perfect preparation for the London Marathon," said Jepkosgei, who will be making her debut in the event having taken part as a pacemaker in 2019.

"I am ready for a sub 2hr 20min pace."

Asked why she had decided to run in London rather than defending her New York title on November 7, she replied: "I came here to do my best because it is my first attempt to run the London Marathon.

"The courses of New York and London are so different, and this will be a real test for me."

Also in attendance was Ethiopia’s hugely consistent Berhane Dibaba, who set a personal best of 2:18:35 last year in earning a third win in Tokyo, where she has also been runner-up twice.

This will be Dibaba’s second London Marathon race – she came ninth on her debut in 2019.

"I am well prepared and I have come to win the race, although it will be very tough," she said.

Meanwhile, Britain’s fastest runner in the women’s elite race, Charlotte Purdue, has said she has had ideal preparations for Sunday following the disappointment of missing out on selection for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and that – weather permitting – she is targeting the mark of 2:23:12 set by Britain’s Mara Yamauchi in coming second at the 2009 London Marathon.

Purdue ran the Olympic qualifying standard in clocking 2:25:38 at the 2019 London Marathon and went on the run the World Championship marathon in the heat and humidity of Doha, where she failed to finish.

She missed the Tokyo trials in March this year due to a bone stress in her femur and British Athletics deemed she was too much of an injury risk to go to the Games, although she appealed their decision – unsuccessfully – claiming she had been "thrown under the bus."

Speaking at today’s press conference for British entrants, Purdue said: "It was disappointing not to get selected [for the Olympics] but the London Marathon for me is as exciting as the Olympics. 

"I couldn’t have asked for better preparation - I've been training well and I'm motivated.

"It’s very weather dependent, but I’ve got Mara Yamauchi’s  2:23:12 in mind."