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Sunday, 24 April 2016

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London Marathon today: millionth finisher set to cross line

LONDON: About 38,000 runners will take to the capital's streets on Sunday for the 36th staging of the London Marathon.

The millionth finisher in the history of the race, which was first held in 1981, will cross the line on The Mall.

The winners of the men's and women's races from 2015 - Eliud Kipchoge and Tigist Tufa - return this year.

Live coverage on BBC One begins at 08:30 BST and there will be commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, as well as live text on the BBC sport website. As in many previous years, the field of elite athletes has a strong Kenyan presence.

Kipchoge and Wilson Kipsang provided a thrilling finish 12 months ago with Kipchoge out-sprinting his countryman up The Mall to win the men's race by five seconds.

Dennis Kimetto came third to complete an all-Kenyan podium. All three are strongly tipped to be involved at the business end again on Sunday.

In the women's race, Ethiopia's Tufa was a surprise winner ahead of Kenya's two-time champion Mary Keitany.

They resume battle this weekend, with Keitany joined by high-quality compatriots Gladys Cherono, the winner of the 2015 Berlin Marathon, and Florence Kiplagat, who won last year's Chicago Marathon.

Runners may have to battle snow for the first time since the race was inaugurated in 1981.

Forecasts suggest an icy spell is due to hit the capital over the weekend, but temperatures are not expected will not be low enough for any snow to settle. Still, that has not stopped one bookmaker offering odds of 100-1 for the race to be cancelled.

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