Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei waded through bad weather to successfully defend her London Marathon title after cutting the tape in 2hrs 18mins 58secs in the women’s race.

This was the second win for the Kenyan in London after last year’s triumph, adding to the 2018 and 2019 Chicago marathon victories.

American Sarah Hall, however, ‘spoiled’ what would have been an all-African podium finish when she beat Kenyan Ruth Jepng’etich and Ethiopian Ashete Bike for second place.

Hall charged forward with two kilometers before storming past the Ethiopian after a difficult start.

Her pace and persistence even paid more dividends when she chased down Chepng’etich before rushed past her with just meters to go to finish second.

This performance means that Hall is the first American, after Deena Kastor, to finish on the podium of the London Marathon since 2006. 

The last time a non-African runner finished on the podium in the women’s race was seven years ago, when Japan’s Yukiko Akaba finished third in 2013.

Kosgei, who shattered the world record at the Chicago Marathon last year  (2:14:04), was so strong that she passed the 35km mark in 1hr 55mins 00 seconds. 

That time, though, meant that she was already out of the world record mark with conditions and race set up, 19 loops around the central park, all working against her.

Apart from the wet course following a heavy downpour and lack of spectators, athletes were also forced to run in a clockwise direction, a deviation from the usual road race. 

This was more of an extended track race rather than a road race, but the job had to be done.