Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir won the Olympic women’s marathand gave Kenya her second Olypmic gold medal in women marathon at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics games.
Jepchirchir faced off with women marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei and world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich who were the race favorites.
The two time world half marathon record holder decided to break away from Kosgei at the 40km mark and never looked back to cross the line in 2:27.20 with kosgei crossing the line 16 seconds later to take the silver medal.
“When I was there at the 40km mark, I knew that I’m going to make it.’ So I pushed the pace because I knew I was going to win,” Jepchirchir said.
“I’m so, so happy because we win as Kenya, first and second … I’m happy, for my family, happy for my country Kenya for supporting us.”
United States Molly Seidel closed the first three podium finishes taking in the bronze medal in 2:27.46.
It was one of the toughest race as the heat wave has been sweeping the area, and even after rescheduling the race to begin an hour earlier at 6am, temperatures had climbed from 26 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit) at the start of the race to 30 degrees Celsius that forced Chepngetich to drop out at around the 30km mark, while Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter dropped out at the 38km.