Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw stormed to victory in the women’s London Marathon on Sunday ahead of last year’s winner Joyciline Jepkosgei.
Yehualaw, 23, only ran her first competitive marathon in April in Germany, winning it with the fastest debut time in history and an Ethiopian record, and she made light work of the field in London.
In the absence of world record holder and twice London Marathon champion Brigid Kosgei, who withdrew due to a hamstring injury, seven women had pulled clear by the halfway stage, led by Ethiopia’s Ashete Bekere.
One by one the leading group dropped out, with Yehualaw, who fell at the 33-kilometre mark, and Kenyan Jepkosgei picking up the pace to open up a gap over the field with five kilometres remaining.
Yehualaw established a commanding lead in the closing stages, crossing the line in two hours, 17 minutes and 25 seconds, ahead of Jepkosgei and Ethiopia’s Alemu Megertu in third.