Yehualaw, Kosgei headline stellar women's London Marathon field
Feb 2 (Reuters) - Ethiopia's Yalemzerf Yehualaw will defend her London Marathon title in April, with world record holder Brigid Kosgei and Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya also set to run, organisers said on Thursday.
Reigning Olympic 10,000m and 5,000m champion Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands will make her marathon debut at the age of 30, with 1,500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba, 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana and Berlin Marathon champion Tigist Assefa also taking part.
Home hopes will be carried by Britain's Eilish McColgan, the Commonwealth Games 10,000m champion, who will also be making her marathon debut.
"My victory at last year's TCS London Marathon was a day I will never forget. I can't wait to go back to London and be part of this amazing team," world 10km record holder Yehualaw said.
Hassan said she was considering both track and marathon options ahead of next year's Olympic Games in Paris.
"I need to test myself over the marathon distance... I'm really excited to be making my marathon debut. It will be a step into the unknown in many ways for me but I'm looking forward to it," she added.
Race director Hugh Brasher is delighted with the strength of the field.
"This is quite simply the greatest women's field ever assembled for a marathon – arguably the greatest field ever assembled for a women's distance race," he said.
"We have two reigning Olympic champions, three world record holders and multiple national record holders, in addition to an incredibly strong British contingent led by Eilish McColgan."
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