Jepchirchir gives Kenya back-to-back women’s marathon Olympic titlesAugust 7, 2021
Peres Jepchirchir secured back-to-back women’s Olympic marathon titles for Kenya on Saturday timing 2hr 27min 20sec.
The 27-year-old two-time half marathon world champion beat compatriot Brigid Kosgei (2hr 27:36) whilst USA’s Molly Seidel was third (2hr 27:46).
Jepchirchir succeeds fellow Kenyan Jemima Sumgong, who won in 2016 in Rio.
Organisers wary of the hot and humid conditions had announced on the eve of the race the start time had been brought forward an hour to 6am local time.
However, even with that, many runners failed to last the distance, including Kenya’s world champion Ruth Chepngetich. Other runners crossed the finish line clearly in distress, including Mexico’s Ursula Sanchez.
She staggered over the line and was attended to by a race official.
Two hours into the race the temperature had risen to 30.6°C (87 degrees Fahrenheit) and 62.7% humidity.
Jepchirchir and Kosgei had moved up a gear with four kilometres remaining with just a quartet of runners in contention for the medals.