Peres Jepchirchir broke away from her Kenyan teammate and world record holder Brigid Kosgei shortly after the 40km marker and never looked back as she powered away to win the women’s marathon in two hours and 27:20 minutes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Saturday (7).
The race was moved up an hour to 6:00 am local time due to the expected humid conditions, which the athletes still had to battle through.
Kosgei ran close together with Jepchirchir for most of the race, but was unable to keep up in the latter parts of the contest and she faded into second place in 2:27:36.
American Molly Seidel, contesting just her third marathon after moving up from shorter distances, was the biggest surprise of the day, as she ran a brilliant race to capture the bronze medal in 2:27:46.
After a close contest in the late stages of the race that included four women, Lonah Chemtai Salpeter dropped off the pace and then stopped running altogether at 38.1km, which made it a comfortable race for the top three runners.
Jepchirchir and Kosgei then forged in front and build a sizable lead, which Seidel was unable to match.
After a few glances at her countrywoman, Jepchirchir, the two-time world half marathon champion, had another surge which saw her opened a big gap on the two-time London Marathon winner and favorite for good en route to becoming the new Olympic marathon champion.