Peres Jepchirchir wary of competition ahead of World Road Running championship
Olympic Marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir is gearing up for the World Athletics Road Running Championships Riga 23, scheduled for Sunday, with high expectations of facing formidable competition.
The Kenyan athlete aims to achieve a historic feat by becoming only the fourth woman in history to secure three world titles in the half marathon.
Peres Jepchirchir run
Jepchirchir previously clinched the world half marathon title in 2016 and 2020. She acknowledges that it won't be an easy race but is determined to give her best effort.
She emphasized that defending a title is challenging, but with proper training, it becomes achievable. While her primary focus this year has been on the marathon, she is fully prepared to perform her best in the upcoming competition.
“I know it won’t be easy and the level of competition is very high, but I’m going to try to do my best. Defending a title is never easy, but it’s not hard if you’ve trained well. I’ve been focusing more on the marathon this year, but I’m still going to try my best on Sunday," she said.
Jepchirchir had faced injury setbacks in the past year but is now fully healed and injury-free.
“Last year I was injured. But now I’m completely healed and injury-free. I won the Great North Run a few weeks ago and I’m looking ahead to the New York Marathon," she added.
Peres Jepchirchir birthday
Turning 30 this week, Jepchirchir is eager to celebrate her birthday by securing her third world half marathon title. Only three women, Tegla Loroupe of Kenya, Paula Radcliffe of Britain, and Lornah Kiplagat of the Netherlands, have accomplished this feat before.
In the upcoming race, Jepchirchir aims to join this elite group after her previous victories in 2016 and 2020.
Jepchirchir, who is also the women-only half marathon world record holder with a time of 1:05:16, is known for her strong finishing speed.
Her formidable teammates, including Irine Jepchumba Kimais, Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi, and Catherine Relin, provide further strength to the Kenyan team.
Ethiopia, a distance-running powerhouse, seeks to defend their team title and is led by Tsigie Gebreselama, supported by Ftaw Zeray, Yalemget Yaregal, and Mestawut Fikir.
Several other talented athletes from various countries, such as Britain, Sweden, Australia, France, Italy, and South Africa, are set to compete in the championship. The event promises high-level competition, and Jepchirchir's performance will be closely watched as she aims for her third world half marathon title.