Jepchirchir sprints to record in London

Peres Jepchirchir set a new women’s only world record at the TCS London Marathon in a scintillating race.
The reigning Olympic champion, who won in 2:16:16, battled with a galaxy of marathon stars for 26 miles before unleashing a burst that even world record holder Tigist Assefa had no answer to.
Kenyan Jepchirchir was among a group containing Assefa, world champion Alemu Megertu and 2021 London champion Joyciline Jepkosgei.
The quartet had broken clear by the 30km mark, but no woman wanted to make a decisive move as they raced alongside the River Thames towards Parliament Square, with each nervously waiting for someone to flip the switch.
In the end, it wasn’t until the final turn that Jepchirchir – still clad in her hat to shield her from the morning chill – unleased a sprint that her rivals couldn’t match.
All four women finished inside the 2:17:01 women’s only world record set in London in 2017 by Kenya’s Mary Keitany, with Assefa edging out Jepkosgei for second place.

Jepchirchir now has three different AbbottWMM victories on her record after conquering New York City in 2021 and Boston in 2022, and will feel confident of selection for her national team at the Paris Olympics this summer to defend her gold medal.
The race was promising to produce a new women’s only record by a much bigger margin in the early stages, but a blustery day and the ongoing phoney war in the leading pack reduced their speed as the contest unfolded.
2018 champion Brigid Kosgei and 2022 winner Yalemzerf Yehualaw were in among a leading pack of seven women at the halfway point, but were unable to stick with the punishing pace bring set.
Assefa looked the most comfortable, having run 2:11:53 for a mixed world record in Berlin last September, and appeared at times to be ready to make her move.
But the Ethiopian perhaps waited too long, and was unable to find the same turn of speed as Jepchirchir as the finish line on the Mall came into view.

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