2011 World Championships in Athletics – Women's marathon
|Events at the
2011 World Championships
|100 m hurdles||women|
|110 m hurdles||men|
|400 m hurdles||men||women|
|4 × 100 m relay||men||women|
|4 × 400 m relay||men||women|
|20 km walk||men||women|
|50 km walk||men|
The Women's marathon at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics was held starting and finishing at Gukchae – bosang Memorial Park on 27 August. A total of 54 runners began the race and twenty three nations were represented.
The fastest entrant that year was Edna Kiplagat of Kenya, who had won the 2010 New York Marathon and finished third in London in April. Her compatriot Priscah Jeptoo (2011 Paris champion) and Aselefech Mergia of Ethiopia (winner in Dubai) completed the three fastest athletes to start the race. Other fast Ethiopian and Kenyan entrants included Sharon Cherop, Bezunesh Bekele and Atsede Baysa. The 2009 runner-up Yoshimi Ozaki headed the Japanese team. Other major participants were Sweden's Isabella Andersson and Chinese duo Zhou Chunxiu and Zhu Xiaolin. The reigning champion Bai Xue was absent, as were the 2008 Olympic champion Constantina Diṭă-Tomescu and the two fastest runners that year (Mary Keitany and Liliya Shobukhova).
A large group of 19 runners remained in the leading pack after 30 km, but a Kenyan trio of Kiplagat, Jeptoo and Cherop pulled away from the group after this point. With some 5 km to go, Kiplagat and Cherop collided at the drinks station. Kiplagat fell to the ground. Cherop slowed down and waited for her teammate until they both resumed running. It was Kiplagat who went on to take the gold medal for Kenya (the first medal of the championships), while Jeptoo and Cherop finished in second and third. This was the first time that any country had won all the medals in a marathon at either the World Championships or the Olympic Games. Bezunesh Bekele crossed the line for fourth place seven seconds later and Japan's Yukiko Akaba completed the top five.
The competition also served as the IAAF World Marathon Cup team race, which was decided by totalling the times of each nation's three fastest runners. The Kenyan women easily won the title, while China and Ethiopia were the silver and bronze medallists, respectively. This result represented the first time that the Japanese women had failed to win a team medal, since the competition was incorporated at the 1997 World Championships.
Prior to the competition, the records were as follows:
|World record||Paula Radcliffe (GBR)||2:15:25||London, Great Britain||13 April 2003|
|Championship record||Paula Radcliffe (GBR)||2:20:57||Helsinki, Finland||14 August 2005|
|World Leading||Mary Keitany (KEN)||2:19:19||London, Great Britain||17 April 2011|
|African Record||Catherine Ndereba (KEN)||2:18:47||Chicago, IL, United States||7 October 2001|
|Asian Record||Mizuki Noguchi (JPN)||2:19:12||Berlin, Germany||25 September 2005|
|North, Central American and Caribbean record||Deena Kastor (USA)||2:19:36||London, Great Britain||23 April 2006|
|South American record||Carmen de Oliveira (BRA)||2:27:41||Boston, MA, United States||18 April 1994|
|European Record||Paula Radcliffe (GBR)||2:15:25||London, Great Britain||13 April 2003|
|Oceanian record||Benita Willis (AUS)||2:22:36||Chicago, IL, United States||22 October 2006|
|A time||B time|
|27 August 2011||09:00||Final|
|KEY:||NR||National record||PB||Personal best||SB||Seasonal best|
- Marathon – W Final. IAAF (2011-08-27). Retrieved on 27 August 2011.
- Johnson, Len (2011-08-21). Women's Marathon – PREVIEW. IAAF. Retrieved on 27 August 2011.
- Ken Marantz (2011). "Kenya sweeps marathon / Akaba leads Japan with 5th-place finish : Sports : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)". Yomiuri Shimbun. Japan. Archived from the original on 2011-08-28. Retrieved 2 September 2011. "'I was so annoyed because it was not my fault, but after seeing that my friend has fallen down, I had to slow down and wait for her,' she said."
- Johnson, Len (2011-08-27). Women's Marathon – Kiplagat leads historical sweep for Kenya. IAAF. Retrieved on 27 August 2011.
- "Edna Kiplagat survives fall to win women's marathon and lead Kenyan 1–2–3 in Daegu". Daily Telegraph. 27 August 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- Marathon results at IAAF website