Nairobi’s marathon champion Chepngetich aspires to a quicker pace in the world championship in Eugene.
After being named to Kenya’s World Athletics Championships squad on Friday, defending world champion Ruth Chepngetich forecasted ever-improving times in the women’s marathon.
The 27-year-old Kenyan beat the midnight heat in Doha, Qatar, to win the marathon championship in September 2019.
In March, she ran the second-fastest women-only marathon time of 2hr 17min 18sec to win in Nagoya, Japan.
“The women’s marathon has made significant development in the previous four years, with no fewer than seven top runners all going under 2:18,” said Chepngetich, who will lead the Kenyan women’s marathon squad of three to the world championships in Eugene, Oregon, July 15–24.
Chepngetich, ranked fourth fastest woman in the world, was one among the favorites to win gold in the Tokyo Olympics marathon in August, but she failed to complete after struggling in Sapporo’s heat and humidity.
The Kenyan, on the other hand, came back to win in Chicago in October, clocking 2:22:31 for victory in her maiden marathon appearance in the United States.
“It wouldn’t surprise me to see a world-leading time on the Eugene track, which is said to be generally flat and spectator-friendly,” Chepngetich said.
The women’s marathon in Eugene is set for July 18, the day following the men’s race.
Chepngetitch will be joined by Judith Jeptum, who qualified after winning the Paris marathon in a sub-2:20 course record last weekend.
Lawrence Cherono, winner of the 2019 Chicago and Boston marathons, has been selected for his first world championship for the men’s squad.
Cherono was selected with Geoffrey Kamworor, a three-time world half-marathon winner, and Barnabas Kiptum.
Geoffrey Kirui, the world gold medalist in London in 2017, was picked as a reserve.
Kenya’s marathon squad will compete at the World Athletics Championships.
Ruth Chepngetich, Judith Jeptum, Maureen Chepkemoi, and Angela Tanui are the women (reserve)
Lawrence Cherono, Geoffrey Kamworor, Barnabas Kiptum, and Geoffrey Kirui are the men (reserve)
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