23 Jan

Strong Female Field For London

Prince Harry with Priscah Jeptoo

The 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon will have one of the strongest female fields ever assembled, after organisers revealed the elite runners set to toe the line this April.

Priscah Jeptoo has confirmed she will be back to defend her title. She will be joined by Olympic champion Tiki Gelana and world champion Edna Kiplagat in heading up the Kenyan challenge.

There will be huge interest in the marathon debut of Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba, a three-times Olympic gold medallist and five-times World gold medallist across 5,000m and 10,000m disciplines. The main British interest will centre on European cross country silver medallist Gemma Steel who is also set to make her marathon debut.

London Marathon race director Hugh Brasher said: “We are delighted to welcome back Priscah Jeptoo. Our champion was a deserved winner of the World Marathon Majors title and has shown with her performances over the last two years that she will be extremely difficult to beat.

“We are also pleased to see the world and Olympic champions on our start line again. Both Edna and Tiki had reason to feel frustrated last year – Edna because she just missed out for a second year in succession, and Tiki because of her unfortunate accident. I am sure they will both be determined to make their returns to London successful.

“All three will have to be at their very best to win the title in 2014 as our elite athlete coordinator David Bedford has again put together a field to match any in the world. With so many proven performers, and Tirunesh Dibaba making her debut, we have quite a race in prospect.”