World women’s marathon record holder Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei retained her London women’s marathon by winning the 40th edition of the marathon held Sunday.
Kosgei won the race in 2:18:58.
American Sarah Hall out sprinted Kenya’s Ruth Chepng’etich with 200m to go to claim second in a lifetime best.
Chepng’etich, 4th fastest on all-time runners list settled for the third position.
Brigid the youngest women’s world marathon record holder laid down the gauntlet by pulling away from the Ruth Chepng’etich with four laps to go to race to her second London Marathon title.
This year’s marathon was shunted from its annual April slot on the calendar due to the global outbreak of coronavirus.
The race featured a significantly different route, a looped 19.6 lap around St.James Park. She finished alone on The Mall in two hours 18 minutes and 58 seconds to claim the $30,000 (£23,200) prize.
She was almost five minutes outside her world record set in Chicago last year.
“The weather was not good so we struggled,” Kosgei told BBC Sport. “I struggled up to the moment I finished.
“We have not prepared well due to the pandemic. I will be prepared for good results next year.”
The London Marathon, rescheduled from its traditional April date because of the coronavirus pandemic, is taking place for elite runners only over 19 laps around St James’s Park.
The men’s Marathon is underway with Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, the world record holder bidding for a record fifth London title.
The usual mass participation event is happening virtually because of COVID-19 restrictions, while there are no spectators cheering on the runners.
Kenyans flooded social media with congratulatory messages with Sports CS Amina Mohammed, DP William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga celebrated the sterling performance.
— AMB.(Dr.) Amina C. Mohamed (@AMB_A_Mohammed) October 4, 2020
Congratulations Brigid Kosgei & Ruth Chepng’etich for triumphantly defending your London Marathon title & emerging third in the race, respectively. Your endurance, mental strength, will-power & assiduity are a solid manifest that Kenya is home to the world’s top-ranking athletes. pic.twitter.com/5L5d2yY9XU
— William Samoei Ruto, PhD (@WilliamsRuto) October 4, 2020
What an outstanding run, congratulations Brigid Kosgei on successfully defending your title and winning the #LondonMarathon. You have lived up to the strong Kenyan tradition in distance running. Keep going and keep inspiring. Hongera! pic.twitter.com/X3r9WVFkxw
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) October 4, 2020