Ethiopian star Tirunesh Dibaba will return to the UK capital once again for Virgin Money London Marathon on April 22.
Dibaba, who won 10,000m silver at the World Championships in London last summer, is the first international athlete to be announced for the elite women’s field.
The 32-year-old clocked 2:20:35 in her marathon debut in London 2014, before returning last year and finishing second in 2:17:56, which was the third-fastest time in history for a women-only marathon.
The eight-time major track gold medalist concluded 2017 with her first 26.2-mile victory at the Chicago Marathon, winning in 2:18:30.
Prior to racing in the Windy City, Fast Running spoke to the distance running great – tipped by many to break Paula Radcliffe’s 2:15:25 marathon record in the future.
“If it’s God’s will and I am prepared as well as possible, I believe I can break her record,” Dibaba said. “But, it won’t be easy, she ran a fast time and it hasn’t been broken in all these years.”
Dibaba’s win in Chicago put her joint top of the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AWMM) Series XI leaderboard, which counts the results of the World Championship marathon plus the marathons in London, Berlin, Chicago, New York, Tokyo and Boston.
The rankings started last year in London and conclude after this year’s race – a win for the Dibaba would secure the series title.
Also announced today (January 23), as part the London Marathon’s ‘Elite Week’, was Kenya’s Stanley Biwott, who has finished runner-up in London twice, and Ethiopia’s Guye Adola, who finished second in his marathon debut last year in Berlin.
The pair will line-up on the elite men’s startline with previously announced Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele and Mo Farah, as well as the top British distance runners who were announced yesterday.
Elite Wheelchair athletes American Tatyana McFadden and Switzerland Marcel Hug will join David Weir in the elite wheelchair startlines.