VAN ZYL TO RUN LONDON MARATHON

 
Updated: January 12, 2016

Irvette van Zyl has been included in the line-up for the London Marathon in April, organisers confirmed on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old distance runner from Pretoria was named among 22 women in the elite field for the annual 42km race.
Five of the women who have committed to the event have dipped under 2:20:00 in their careers.
The field will be spearheaded by defending champion Tigist Tufa of Ethiopia, compatriot and world champion Mare Dibaba, and two-time London winner Mary Keitany of Kenya, who is the fastest woman in the field.
“With the Rio Olympics around the corner providing an extra incentive to all the elite runners, it is set to be a race to remember,” said race director Hugh Brasher.
Van Zyl has twice previously competed in the London Marathon, taking 18th place in 2012 in 2:33:41 and 10th position in 2013 in 2:31:26, which remains her personal best over the classic distance.
This year’s race will be her first marathon since she and husband LJ van Zyl had their first child in September.
She will hope to join the race for three available women’s marathon spots at this year’s Rio Olympics, currently held by Christine Kalmer (2:33:43), Mapaseka Makhanya (2:37:21) and Lebo Phalula (2:38:55).
Though Van Zyl and Phalula were both considering an appearance on the track in Rio, instead of the road, they will both be eager to keep their options open in a hard-fought qualifying contest, with the likes of Rene Kalmer, Tanith Maxwell, Cornelia Joubert and Jenna Challenor still expected to throw their names into the hat.

Elite women’s line-up for the London Marathon (24 April, 2016):

Tigist Tufa (ETH) 2:21:52
Mary Keitany (KEN) 2:18:37
Gladys Cherono (KEN) 2:19:25
Aselefech Mergia (ETH) 2:19:31
Florence Kiplagat (KEN) 2:19:44
Mare Dibaba (ETH) 2:19:52
Priscah Jeptoo (KEN) 2:20:14
Feyse Tadese (ETH) 2:20:27
Jemima Sumgong (KEN) 2:20:48
Jessica Augusto (POR) 2:24:25
Volha Mazuronak (BLR) 2:25:36
Rkia El Moukim (MAR) 2:26:33
Diana Lobacevske (LTU) 2:28:03
Sonia Samuels (GBR) 2:28:04
Freya Ross (GBR) 2:28:10
Alyson Dixon (GBR) 2:29:30
Louise Damen (GBR) 2:30:00
Susan Partridge (GBR) 2:30:46
Irvette van Zyl (RSA) 2:31:26
Cassie Fien (AUS) 2:38:53
Jess Coulson (GBR) debut
Charlotte Purdue (GBR) debut