Tokyo 2020: More glory for Kenya as Peres Jepchirchir wins gold in women's marathon

Tokyo 2020: More glory for Kenya as Peres Jepchirchir wins gold in women's marathon

  • Kenyan continued her dominance in the women’s marathon thanks to emphatic performances from Peres Jepchirchir and world record holder Brigid Kosgei
  • The pair showed superb teamwork in the marathon to finish first and second respectively
  • American Molly finished in third place to claim bronze

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Kenya once again shone at the Tokyo Olympics thanks to a much-deserved victory by Peres Jepchirchir in the women’s marathon.

Jepchirchir did superbly in the closing moments to beat world record holder Brigid Kosgei to win the race in 2 hours, 27 seconds.

Israel's Lonah Chemtai stopped her race in the final five kilometres when it looked like she would scoop bronze, which was eventually won by American Molly Seidel in 27 minutes 46 seconds.

Kenya's Peres Jepchirchir
In the women’s marathon, Peres Jepchirchir and Brigid Kosgei exhibited superb Kenyan spirit and coordination to clinch gold and silver in a race where they were heavy favourites.
Source: Getty Images

Kosgei and Jepchirchir had been heavy favourites in the race in the build up to the event and the pair did not disappoint.

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By the time the race entered its final five kilometres, it was just a question of which of the pair would win gold.

Team Kenya at the women's marathon
Gold medalist Peres Jepchirchir of Team Kenya, silver medalist Brigid Kosgei of Team Kenya and bronze medalist Molly Seidel of Team United States. Photo by Clive Brunskill.
Source: UGC

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Out of the 88-strong field lined up at the start of the 42km course in Sapporo Odori Park, 14 of them did not finish the race including Kenya’s world champion Ruth Chepngetich.

After a typically slow start, the real action began at the 36 kilometre mark when the quartet of Kosgei, Jepchirchir, Seidel and Lonah Chemtai Salpeter broke away from the main group to establish an 11-second gap.

Of the two Kenyans, Jepchirchir looked to have more gas but Kosgei did a superbly to move to sixth in the pack with a few kilometres to go,

At some point, the two Kenyans were hand in hand, encouraging each other to go for the finish.

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With less than a kilometer to go, Jepchirchir made one final push to eventually power to victory for gold, with Kosgei seconds behind her.

This was Kenya’s second consecutive gold in the women’s marathon at the Olympics, after Jemima Sumgong won the race in Rio 2016.

It was the 10th edition of the women’s marathon after it was first introduced in 1984 in the Los Angeles Games.

Jepchirchir’s reaction

Speaking on her victory, Jepchirchir was almost in disbelief at how she managed to open such a huge margin against her counterparts.

"It feels good," said Jepchirchir as quoted by the Olympics official website.
"I’m so, so happy because we win as Kenya. First and second.”
"I thank my god so much. I’m happy for my family. I’m happy for my country, Kenya.
"I pushed on the pace (and when I opened the gap) it was like, 'wow, I’m going to make it. I’m going to win'."

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