Athletics: Jepchirchir breaks women-only world marathon record in London

Mumbai, April 21 (IANS) Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir smashed the women-only world record by 45 seconds at the London Marathon, winning the World Athletics Platinum Label Road Race in 2:16:16 in London on Sunday.

The three-time world half-marathon champion sprinted away from World Record-holder Tigist Assefa, 2021 London winner Joyciline Jepkosgei and last year’s runner-up Megertu Alemu -– all of whom finished inside 2:17 -– to notch up her third victory in a World Marathon Majors race.

The pace had been swift from the outset as a lead pack of nine women passed through 10km in 31:26. By the time they reached halfway in 1:07:04, the pack was down to seven women, the World Athletics said in a report on its website on Sunday.

It was about 18 miles into the race when the quartet of Jepchirchir, Assefa, Jepkosgei and Alemu managed to detach themselves from the rest of the field, and they ran together for the best part of eight miles.

As the clock ticked to 2:15, with little more than a minute of running left, Alemu was finally dropped. Seconds later, Jepchirchir unleashed her trademark finish to leave behind Jepkosgei and Assefa.

The diminutive Kenyan charged through the finish line in 2:16:16, breaking the women-only world record of 2:17:01 set by Mary Keitany in 2017.

Moments later, Alexander Mutiso Munyao made it a Kenyan double by winning the men’s race in 2:04:01, finishing 14 seconds ahead of Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele.

–IANS

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