Peres Jepchirchir’s London marathon record ratified ahead of Olympic Games  

The 2020 Olympic gold medallist Peres Jepchirchir’s record at the London Marathon in April has been officially ratified, providing a timely boost for the 30-year-old as she joins Team Kenya in preparation for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

By Oliver Ochieng

Kenyan marathoner Peres Jepchirchir has received a major timely boost ahead of the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, with the ratification of her World record, a feat she achieved during the London marathon, in April 2024.   

The 30-year-old long-distance runner finished the London race in 2:16:16, improving the women-only world marathon record by 45 seconds. She broke her compatriot Mary Keitany’s record of 2:17:01, which was set during the London Marathon in 2017.

She finished the race seven seconds ahead of Ethiopia’s Tigist Assefa. Joyciline Jepkosgei came third in 2:16:24, while Megertu Alemu finished fourth in 2:16:34, making it the first marathon in which four women had finished inside the 2:17 timeline.

“My dream. I am humbled,” Jepchirchir said after World Athletics ratified her record on Wednesday, July 03, 2024.

The Athletics Kenya (AK) in a statement congratulated her for the achievement and wished her success at the Paris Olympics.

Before Peris, the latest ratification by World Athletics was on February 6, 2024, when Kelvin Kiptum’s world marathon record of 2:00:35, set during the Chicago Marathon in October 2023, was officially recognized.

Kenya’s Kiptum became the first athlete to break 2:01 in a record-eligible marathon, taking 34 seconds off the world record previously held by his countryman, Eliud Kipchoge of 2:01:09 achieved during the Berlin marathon in 2022.

The 24-year-old Kiptum then died a week later on February 11, in a tragic road accident alongside his Rwandese coach Gervais Hakizimana.

The ratification comes as countries ramp up preparations ahead of the Paris Olympics to be held later this month. Kenya’s Olympic squad for Paris, announced in May, boasts a star-studded lineup led by Olympic champions Eliud Kipchoge and Jepchirchir.

Whereas Kipchoge is seeking to become the first man to win three Olympic titles on the trot after triumphs in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016, and Sapporo, Japan in 2021. In the men’s category, Kipchoge, Benson Kipruto and Alexander Mutisi Munyao make up the Kenyan men’s Olympics marathon team. Jepchirchir, Helen Obiri and Brigit Kosgei make part of the equally formidable women’s team.

Jepchirchir will be seeking to defend her Olympic gold medal title earned in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics held in July 2021 due to the Covid pandemic.  

Notably, Jepchirchir’s London victory was her fifth in six elite marathons, her only defeat coming in London 12 months prior when she was third. After missing the New York City Marathon last November with injury, the London victory confirmed her place in Kenya’s team for the Paris Olympic Games. 

Timothy Kiplagat and Sharon Lokedi were listed as reserves for both the men’s and women’s teams. Olympic Games start on July 26, before curtains come down on August 11, 2024.