The leading women’s contenders feel a mixture of nerves and excitement ahead of the 2023 TCS London Marathon
Yalemzerf Yehualaw (ETH)
“My preparations have gone very well. I am so happy to be back in London. It is a beautiful city and a great competition. I really want to defend my title.
“With so many great athletes in the field I hope we can run a course record, or even the world record. God willing, I will win again.
“I am in good shape and focused. But I will need to be even better this year.
“If I get a chance to run at the World Championships [in Budapest this August] I will do it. But it depends on the selectors.
Sifan Hassan (NED)
“I don’t watch many marathons, but I always watch London because it is like a championship race – you never know who’s going to win till the end.
“It is my first marathon so I can’t really say how I will do. I don’t have a time in mind, or a place. I just want to finish the race and see what happens.
“I haven’t changed my training too much; I’ve just added longer runs. I am keeping the same training for the track as I still want to run 5000m and 10,000m. I don’t know about the marathon. We will see after Sunday.
“I won’t do the marathon at the World Championships, but maybe I’ll do another one at the end of the year. I really enjoy the marathon training but I really enjoy track too. I love everything.
“I’ve already been nervous for a month. To be honest, I am scared of the marathon. I don’t know whether I will finish or not, but I’m also very curious. Everything will be going through my mind, but it will be better next time.
“I am excited to be in front of the crowds, but also nervous. Sometimes I wake up and think ‘Why the hell did I decide to run a marathon?’
“I don’t have any time in mind. My goal is just to finish and see what happens, to learn about the marathon and be part of it.”
Peres Jepchirchir (KEN)
“This is my dream race. I have always said I want to run the London Marathon, so I’m delighted to be here at last.
“I can see the team is very strong. So, if the weather is good, I think the [world] record can go on Sunday.
“I do the same training for all my marathons. Training has been good since January. Everything has gone very well, and I hope on Sunday my body responds and the result will come.
“I had an injury in my gluteus when preparing for the New York Marathon [last November], but now I am healed and all is good.”
Brigid Kosgei (KEN)
“I am happy to be here. I am well prepared but some weeks back I had a hamstring injury. I don’t think it is too bad, so I decided to come. I think it is getting better.
“The field is very strong and everyone wants to be a winner here. It will be a struggle till the last moments. May the best one win.”