Three-time Berlin Marathon champion Kenya’s Gladys Cherono has predicted that the Women-only World Record (WR) could go down on Sunday during this year’s London Marathon.
Cherono, who made her London debut last year to finish fourth, disclosed on Wednesday that Mary Keitany’s Women-Only World Record of 2 hours, 17 minutes and 01 minute set at the same course in 2017 could be broken owing to the favourable weather and strong field in the English capital.
“It has been forecast that the weather in London will be warmer on Sunday and that, coupled with a strong field featuring the top five marathon entrants each of whom has run sub-2 hours and 20 minutes in the last one year with the exception of one, Keitany’s Women-only World Record in 2017 could be lowered,” said the 35-year-old Cherono, whose three World Marathon Major victories came from Berlin.
Cherono completed her hat-trick of victories in Berlin last year in 2:18:11, the sixth fastest time in the history of the marathon.
However, it’s Keitany who boasts the fastest time in the rich field for London Marathon from her trail-blazing victory in 2017, followed by Cherono’s 2:18:11 from last year’s Berlin Marathon. Defending champion Vivian Cheruiyot also weighs in with her triumphant time of 2:18:31 from last year’s race.
Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei has the fourth fastest time in the field of 2:18:35 from her victory at Chicago Marathon last year and is followed by Ethiopian Birhane Dibaba, who has a personal best of 2:19:51 from Tokyo Marathon last year.
“Expect a fast race with this kind of field,” said Cherono, who won in Berlin in 2015 before reclaiming the title in 2017 and successfully defended it last year.
“Keitany and Vivian are in great shape, while Brigid has shown what she is made of when she won in Chicago last year.”
Cherono has however said breaking Paula Radcliffe’s all-time World Record of 2:15:25 set in London in 2003 will be a tall order.
Cherono, the 2014 World Half Marathon champion, has declared her intention of winning the London Marathon title, saying she is also seeking to improve her personal best.
The temperature in London on Sunday is forecast to range between 10 to 14 degrees centigrade.
“I know the race will be tough but I have prepared well. I tested the course last year when I finished fourth and I sense something nice for me this year,” said the 2013 World 10,000 metres silver medallist.
Cherono, the 2012 Africa 10,000m and 5,000m champion, who runs under Gianni Demadona Management, has been training in Eldoret under her coach Joseph Bwambok since finishing sixth in Houston Half Marathon in the USA in January. Bwambok is also Cherono’s husband.