Glammed up former Miss Ukraine completes London marathon draped in national flag

A former Miss Ukraine completed yesterday's London Marathon all glammed up and draped in her country's flag

Former TV presenter Viktoriya Kiose, 29, who was a presenter in her homeland, ran the gruelling 26.2 miles alongside her fiance Kostiantyn Bidnenko and finished in under four hours.

Viktoriya and Kostiantyn were running to raise money for United24, an initiative launched by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to collect charitable donations in support of the country.

READ MORE: 'I'm deafblind and I'm running the London Marathon – nothing can stop me'

The couple, who have lived here since May, fled Ukraine last February and travelled via Hungary, Poland and Italy before reaching the UK.

Ms Kiose, who was Miss Ukraine 2016, said she was “numb” with fear when the invasion started.

“I was shocked. It was very scary and we didn’t understand because it was like in the movies," she said.

“It was awful. It was the worst day in my life.”

Speaking about the support they had from the crowd Mr Bidnenko said: "When you hear people support you and scream the name of your country, you feel a responsibility not only for yourself, but for your country and your people too."

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Footballers Jill Scott, Ellen White and Leah Williamson sounded the klaxon to start the event for the 42,000 runners.

Among the runners were Olympian James Cracknell, 50, BBC newsreader Sophie Raworth, 54, DJ Chris Evans, 56, and McFly's Harry Judd, 36.

The marathon will be back in its April slot next year, after it was moved to October due to Covid.

Kenya's Amos Kipruto and Ethiopia's Yalemzerf Yehualaw won their maiden London Marathon titles with breakaway victories in the elite men's and women's races.

Amos Kipruto won the men's race in two hours, four minutes and 39 seconds, while Yalemzerf Yehualaw won the women's race in two hours, 17 minutes and 26 seconds.

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