LONDON, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) — Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei and Sisay Lemma of Ethiopia won the women’s and men’s races respectively in Sunday’s 2021 London Marathon.

With the pandemic having limited the 2020 event to elite runners only, this year’s marathon saw the return of over 36,000 amateur runners to the looped course around London’s St James’s Park.

Jepkosgei, 28, crossed the finish line first in a personal best time of two hours, 17 minutes and 43 seconds, followed by the Ethiopian duo of Degitu Azimeraw and Ashete Bekere in 2:17:58 and 2:18:18 respectively.

Jepkosgei’s compatriot and world-record holder Brigid Kosgei finished fourth in 2:18:40.

“I prepared very well in training and I just kept my focus and tried to avoid any mistakes,” said Jepkosgei, who came to London with fresh legs as she had not been included in Kenya’s Olympic squad this summer.

In the men’s race, 30-year-old Lemma won his first World Marathon Major title with a time of 2:04:01.

Kenya’s Vincent Kipchumba was 27 seconds behind in second place, while Ethiopia’s Mosinet Geremew took third in 2:04:41.