London Marathon 2023: Sifan Hassan and Kelvin Kiptum take remarkable wins, elite results – complete list
Sifan Hassan and Kelvin Kiptum clinched magnificent victories at the 2023 London Marathon on Sunday (23 April).
Tokyo 2020 5000m and 10,000m gold medallist Hassan dropped back around 16km into proceedings with an apparent left hip cramp, but the Dutchwoman – making her marathon debut – somehow worked her way back towards the lead group headed by Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir.
The Kenyan poured on the pace, but Hassan joined her with only Ethiopia’s Alemu Megertu able to stay with the pair.
And Hassan’s track speed proved decisive as she sprinted clear to win in 2:18:33 and perhaps establish herself as the greatest female distance runner in history.
Megertu took second ahead of Jepchirchir who had done most of the work at the front.
Hassan told the BBC, “This is just amazing. I will never forget this in my whole life. I had a problem with my hip which made me stop. But it started to feel a little bit better.
“It was just amazing. I never thought I would finish a marathon and here I am winning it! I enjoyed it so much. They said the marathon would hurt but I felt really good, even after 5km and 15km! When I saw the finish line, I thought, ‘Is that really it?’
“This year, the World Championships is in my mind. I wasn’t really thinking about the marathon. I thought I would have to cancel this run to focus on the Worlds in Budapest. But I am so happy.
“And it is one of my favourite marathons in the world. The crowd was so amazing and every single kilometre I was so grateful for them. I wasn’t going to stop.”
The lead group was gradually whittled down with Rio 2016 10,000m gold medallist Almaz Ayana losing touch just after halfway.
Another Ethiopian, 1500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba, also fell behind the pace before last year’s winner Yalemzerf Yehualaw dropped back inside the last 5km.
Olympic marathon silver medallist and world record holder Brigid Kosgei abandoned just three minutes into proceedings with an apparent leg injury.
Three-time race winner Paula Radcliffe was stunned by Hassan’s success, telling the BBC, “It’s not just winning it. It’s the way she was out of contention and yet she fought back to beat the Olympic champion, the defending champion.
“She is an inspiration and that is just phenomenal, especially that she trained through Ramadan as well.”
The men’s elite race at the 43rd London Marathon was started by four-time winner Eliud Kipchoge who suffered a rare defeat in last Monday’s Boston Marathon.
Boston winner Evans Chebet was also there in person as another Kenyan, last year’s Valencia winner Kelvin Kiptum, surged to a decisive victory after kicking clear just after the 30km mark amid confusion at a drink stop.
Kiptum had been in a lead group of nine including triple Olympic track gold medallist Kenenisa Bekele who started to struggle at halfway. The Ethiopian soon pulled out with last year’s winner Amos Kipruto abandoning inside the closing couple of kilometres.
In just his second marathon having become the quickest debutant in history in Valencia, 23-year-old Kiptum kept pushing on at the front and even threatened Kipchoge’s world record of 2:01:09.
He ended up clocking a course record 2:01:25, the second fastest time in history.
Two-time New York City Marathon winner Geoffrey Kamworor, who has struggled with a foot injury since being hit by a motorbike in training in 2020, was some three minutes back in second with world champion Tamirat Tola third.
Kiptum revealed afterwards that he had not planned to attack so early, saying, “My plan was to grab the water but I missed so I said, ‘Let me make a move’. For the world record, I will go home and see. But for now, not yet.
“I am very happy to run my second fastest time in history. The secret is training. My preparation was good. Everything was going well.”
In what was billed as probably the last race of a glittering career, four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah lost touch with the leaders early on with Emile Cairess the first Briton home in sixth.
Farah finished ninth as he was outsprinted to the line by another compatriot, Phil Sesemann, and confirmed to the BBC afterwards that this was indeed his swansong.
He said, “Training went well, and I was confident and I thought I could do between 2:05 and 2:07 but you never know with the marathon.
“I gave it my all but my body just wasn’t responding and that’s when you know when it’s time to call it a day.”
Marcel Hug claimed his third consecutive win in the men’s elite wheelchair event, winning in a course record just six days after his victory in Boston.
There was another course record in the women’s race as Australia’s Madison de Rozario claimed her second London victory, five years after her first, outsprinting reigning champion Manuela Schaer.
Photos Stavri Kay