Ethiopia Assefa sets eyes on breaking London marathon record

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Ethiopia’s Tigst Assefa says she is “here to win” her maiden London Marathon on Sunday.

At 27, Assefa holds the women’s world record, achieved by completing the Berlin Marathon in an impressive two hours, 11 minutes, and 53 seconds last September.

Additionally, she has her sights set on surpassing the London Marathon record set by Kenya’s Mary Keitany in 2017, standing at 2 hours, 17 minutes, and 1 second.

“God will show how good I am, I have prepared very well and I am sure I can beat the course record,” she said.

“Regardless of whether it is London or Berlin, it will not change my strategy at all.”

Assefa will face stiff competition from a trio of Kenyan athletes comprising Brigid Kosgei, Ruth Chepngetich, and Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir, as well as Ethiopia’s 2022 London Marathon victor, Yalemzerf Yehualaw. Kosgei, Chepngetich, and Assefa rank among the four fastest women in history over the marathon distance.

Kosgei, a two-time London Marathon champion, expressed her delight at returning to the event.

“I have been preparing well in Kenya and I am ready,” she added.

Great Britain’s Becky Briggs, Alice Wright, Anya Culling, Rachel Hodgkinson, Helen Gaunt, Mhairi Maclennan and Lucy Reid are also competing on Sunday.