London Marathon Announces 2022 Men’s Elite Field — No Kipchoge (Yet)

By Jonathan Gault
July 7, 2022

The 2022 TCS London Marathon announced its men’s elite field on Thursday, and as usual, it is loaded. Defending champion Sisay Lemma of Ethiopia is back to defend his title, and he’ll be joined by three of the six men in history to have broken 2:03 — 40-year-old Kenenisa Bekele (2:01:41 pb), Birhanu Legese (2:02:48 pb), and Mosinet Geremew (2:02:55). Olympic bronze medalist and European record holder Bashir Abdi of Belgium (2:03:36 pb) is also entered, as is Vincent Kipchumba (2:04:28 pb), the runner-up in London in 2020 and 2021. Right now, a record eight sub-2:04 men are scheduled to race.

British star Mo Farah, 39, will also be running London for the first time since 2019. He has finished 8th (2014), 3rd (2018), and 5th (2019) in three previous marathons.

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One name notably absent from Thursday’s field announcement: the greatest marathoner of all time, Eliud Kipchoge.

So does that mean American fans should start making travel plans for November 6 to see Kipchoge in his first New York City Marathon? After all, Kipchoge has said repeatedly his goal is to eventually win all six World Marathon Majors, and he only has two left to accomplish that goal: New York and Boston.

Not so fast.

London likes to make a big deal about their elite fields. And rightfully so — they’re the best in the world, year after year. Rather than announcing the entire field all at once, London often stretches the announcements out across an entire week. We’ve already seen it this week with London announcing the women’s field on Tuesday, Mo Farah on Wednesday, and the men’s field on Thursday. And remember 2020? There were a few days of panic when London announced its men’s field in January 14, 2020, with Kipchoge and no Bekele. Two days later, they announced Bekele — he was running all along, but London wanted to increase the suspense.

Kipchoge could still run London this year

Could London do the same thing again this year? Let’s use our powers of deduction. There’s one weekday left in the week, and Kipchoge’s NN Running Team has been cryptically teasing a big announcement on Friday. I’d be surprised if that announcement isn’t the news that Kipchoge is running London in October.

But why would Kipchoge run London this fall instead of New York? There are a bunch of reasons. Kipchoge has spoken many times about how London is one of his favorite races (he’s won it four times). He may want redemption for his last London appearance in 2020, where he finished 8th — his only marathon defeat since 2013. And while money isn’t the biggest factor for Kipchoge, London can offer a larger appearance fee than any other major.

With a normal marathoner, there might be concerns that Kipchoge, who turns 38 in November, would be running out of time to complete his World Marathon Majors quest. But he is showing no signs of slowing down — in his last two marathons, he won the Olympics by 80 seconds and ran 2:02:40 to win Tokyo despite a wrong turn. He may be in no rush to run New York.

Full 2022 TCS London Marathon men’s elite field

Name Country Personal Best
Kenenisa BEKELE ETH 2:01:41
Birhanu LEGESE ETH 2:02:48
Mosinet GEREMEW ETH 2:02:55
Amos KIPRUTO KEN 2:03:13
Sisay LEMMA ETH 2:03:36
Bashir ABDI BEL 2:03:36
Tamirat TOLA ETH 2:03:39
Kinde ATANAW ETH 2:03:51
Leul GEBRESILASE ETH 2:04:02
Vincent KIPCHUMBA KEN 2:04:28
Sir Mo FARAH GBR 2:05:11
Naoki OKAMOTO JPN 2:08:04
Naoki AIBA JPN 2:08:44
Kohei FUTAOKA JPN 2:09:14
Chris THOMPSON GBR 2:10:52
Brett ROBINSON AUS 2:10:55
Jack RAYNER AUS 2:11:06
Weynay GHEBRESILASIE GBR 2:12:17
Mohamud AADAN GBR 2:12:20
Philip SESEMANN GBR 2:12:58
Mike SAYENKO USA 2:13:00
Charlie HULSON GBR 2:13:34
Edward GODDARD AUS 2:13:45
Matthew LEACH GBR 2:15:31
Ross BRADEN GBR 2:16:48
Tony Ah-Thit PAYNE THA 2:16:56
William BRYAN GBR 2:17:53
Nicholas BOWKER GBR 2:18:09
Matthew CREHAN GBR 2:18:16
Kieran WALKER GBR 2:19:36
Kowal YOANN FRA Debut

Quick Take: Eight sub-2:04 men in single race is a record

The London fields are always amazing. We’ve been tracking the PBs of the elite entrants in the majors for about 5 years and never before has there been eight sub-2:04 guys in a single race. Tokyo and Boston this year as well as London last year had five sub-2:04 guys in the field, but 2022 London will blow that out of the water.

That being said, with super shoes, times aren’t what they used to be and there is still plenty of talent to go around for the other big fall marathons. Right now, this year’s London field actually only has three of our top 10 ranked marathoners from 2021 – #2 Bashir Abdi, #5 Sisay Lemma, and #8 Tamirat Tola.

London By The Numbers The Last 5 Years      
  Sub-2:04 Sub-2:05 (inclusive) Sub-2:06
2022 London 8 10 11
2021 London 5 6 7
2020 London 4 7 9
2019 London 2 8 10
2018 London 3 3 7
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