14 Apr

Lemon Seeks London Springboard

Liz Yelling

Olympic steeplechaser Andrew Lemoncello will lead the British men's challenge at this Sunday's Virgin London Marathon. The US-based Scot, who represented Team GB in the 3000m steeplechase at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, has made a successful step up in distance and finished eighth on the capital's streets with 2:13:40 last year.

He will be targeting UK Athletics' 2011 World Championships and 2012 Olympic Games qualifying standard of 2:12:00. On the women's side, double Olympic marathon finisher Liz Yelling is expected to lead the British challenge as she bids to qualify for her third successive Olympic Games in London.

She will be targeting 2:35:00 in order to meet the UKA qualifying criteria and contend for a place in both the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea and at London 2012.

Though she will face stiff competition, particularly in Olympic year with her close friend and world-record holder Paula Radcliffe set to return to action after giving birth to her second child and 2008 Olympic sixth-place finisher Mara Yamauchi also back in the fold after injury kept her on the side lines for London this year.

Another interesting entrant in the women's race is Jo Pavey, the former Commonwealth 5000m bronze medallist is making her marathon debut after a stint out of the sport where she too became a mum. However, there is sad news for Liz's sister-in-law, Hayley Yelling. The former European cross country champion has pulled out of London after tearing a calf in training.