The big names vying for 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon title share their views
Brigid Kosgei (KEN)
On how well she’s recovered after claiming silver at the Tokyo Olympic marathon in August:
“I ran the Olympics just last month and my body is still very tired. But I have done a lot of preparation and now I am OK, so I’m here in London ready to do my best again.
“After Tokyo I had two days’ break then I carried on training and it went well. I want to defend my title.”
On whether she prefers running in the heat of Japan or the colder conditions in London:
“London is better for me than Tokyo. I don’t run so well in hot conditions but I tried my best there. Now I am back in London I hope to run at my best again.”
On whether running a fast time or victory is more important on Sunday:
“There are a lot of strong competitors in the race and everybody wants to be in the top three. I wish the best to all my colleagues and we’ll see who wins on Sunday.
On what it would mean to win three Virgin Money London Marathon titles in a row:
“I would be very happy. I can’t say anything more than that. I love London and the spectators here because they cheer everyone on the day. I hope I have the power to do my maximum.”
On the recent retirement of three-time London Marathon winner and course record holder Mary Keitany (KEN):
“Mary is a good lady and she’s has been encouraging. She’s encouraged us to work hard so we can break her women-only world record.
“We are here to try to do that if we can make it. Or maybe next time. It depends how it will be.
“I won’t have the course record in mind, as I recently came from running the Olympics only last month, so my preparation is not good enough to do it.”
On racing on the traditional London Marathon course again, rather than last year’s closed-loop circuit round St James’s Park:
“I didn’t like the loops last year. We went round and round and round, and my head was turning and turning by the end. This time we are going straight and I really appreciate that.”
On whether she hopes to dominate women’s marathon running in the way her compatriot Eliud Kipchoge has dominated the men’s event:
“I am inspired him. He’s a good man. He talks to the young athletes and encourages us to be disciplined and to focus. Because of him I know that if I am honest and focus on running I can do well.”
Birhane Dibaba (ETH)
On how well her training has gone ahead of her second London Marathon appearance:
“I am well prepared and feel in similar shape to all my previous races.
“Like all the athletes I came here to win the race. It is very tough, of course, but I want to beat them and to do my best.”
Joyciline Jepkosgei (KEN)
On how confident she feels after winning the Berlin half marathon a few weeks ago:
“Six weeks ago I ran in Berlin to test myself. It was part of my preparation for London.
“This half marathon was the best for me and my training has gone well over the last few weeks. I am ready to run sub-2:20 and I will try my best to do it.”
On running London Marathon this year instead of defending her New York Marathon title in November:
“I have already won in New York, but this is my first London Marathon. It was a pleasure to be invited to London.”
On the prospect of running in front of spectators on Sunday:
“I like having them with us. They give us so much extra support and help us run better.”