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Mary Keitany’s record under threat as three fastest women in the world pound the London Streets

Mary Keitany record under threat as three fastest women in the world pound the London Streets

World Marathon women record holder Tigst Assefa of Ethiopia will lead a strong team of three of the fastest women in marathon history as they attempt to lower the world record for women-only at the 42nd edition of the TCS London Marathon scheduled for April 21, 2024 in London.

The 27 year-old who set a breathtaking World Women Record of 2:11.53 last September at the Berlin Marathon, smashed the former record of 2:14.04 set five years ago by Brigid Kosgei of Kenya.

Both Assefa and Kosgei are part of an elite lineup targeting to lower the current women’s-only marathon record of 2:17.01, set seven years ago by Mary Keitany of Kenya at the London Marathon, a record that has remained unchallenged.

The 2019 World Marathon champion, Ruth Chepngetich, who is also the fourth fastest woman ever with a time of 2:14.18 and Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir and the 2022 London Marathon champion, Yalemzerf Yehualaw of Ethiopia have also been roped in as they seek to challenge the long standing record.

Special pacemakers have been selected to ensure the female competitors stay on pace to lower the women’s-only record. The London Marathon has facilitated this by having the elite women run separately from the elite men and the general participant field.

Hugh Brasher, the Event Director of the TCS London Marathon, highlighted the current era as a golden age for women’s marathon, recalling the lengthy period between Paula Radcliffe’s 2003 record of 2:15.25 and its eventual eclipse by Kosgei in 2019. Despite numerous women running faster than Radcliffe’s time since then, Keitany’s women’s-only record has surprisingly stood firm. Brasher anticipates this year’s event, with ten women who have run under 2:17.30, to pose a significant challenge to Keitany’s record.


  • John Vaselyne

    John Vaselyne is the founder of Athletics News. Africa’s only Independent Athletics News website. He has covered World U18 and U20 Championships, World Cross Country Championships, Four Continental Tour Gold Series, Wanda Diamond League. He has passion for the Sport and has over seven years experience in this area of sport. He is also the Leading Athletics Pundit in the Country, having been hosted in ALL leading TV stations in Kenya

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