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Nancy Jelagat headlines Kenyan cast at Berlin Marathon

Nancy Jelagat222
Nancy Jelagat celebrates after winning the Valencia Marathon. PHOTO/Courtesy Xinhua
  • Jelagat will be the highest profile Kenyan athlete in the race
  • The Berlin Marathon is scheduled for September 25
  • Eliud Kipchoge had earlier been confirmed in the men’s race

While Eliud Kipchoge will headline the men’s field as he tries to go for a historic fourth Berlin Marathon title, organizers have unveiled the elite women list and Kenya’s cast be headlined by Valencia Marathon champion Nancy Jelagat.

Jelagat won the Valencia title last December, where she also clocked her personal best of 2hrs, 19mins, 31secs. She returns to the German capital where she finished second at the Berlin Half Marathon last year and will be looking to make one better in the grueling 42km distance.

Other victories in her road racing career include wins in the Boulogne-Billancourt Half Marathon in France and the Treviso Marathon in Italy, both in 2019.

She will be joined in the Kenyan cast by Maureen Chepkemoi, Vibian Chepkirui and Rosemary Wanjiru who will be making her debut.

The 24-year old Chepkemoi won the Enschede Marathon in the Netherlands and is ranked 16th in women’s marathon globally. Vibian meanwhile is also in good form this season, having broken the Course record as she won the Vienna City marathon last April. She clinched the title for the second time.

She had earlier on placed fifth at the Santa Pola International Marathon in Spain, a race she had won in 2020.

Wanjiru seeking perfect debut

Wanjiru, who placed fourth at the World Championships in Doha in 2019 will be making her debut in Berlin. This year, she won the Boilermaker 15Km race in Utica New York and placed second in the Half Marathon at the adizero Road to Records race in Germany in April.

She was also fifth at the Lille Half Marathon in March. Her other notable performance was at the 2020 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon where she placed third.

Meanwhile, the fastest woman on the race will be American Keira D’Amato who clocked 2:19:12 to win the Chevron Houston Marathon in January and went on to finish eighth at the World Athletics Championships on home soil in Oregon, running 2:23:34.

The 37-year-old has the fastest PB in the announced 21-strong women’s field, one that features eight athletes with PBs under 2:21.

There will be plenty of competition to challenge them. Ethiopia’s Gutemi Shone Imana ran her 2:20:11 PB in Dubai in 2020 and clocked 2:21:46 in Prague last year, while her compatriots Workenesh Edesa and Sisay Gola have respective PBs of 2:20:24 and 2:20:50, Gola’s set when finishing second in Seville in February.

D’Amato will be joined by her compatriot Sara Hall, who sits third on the US marathon all-time list with her PB of 2:20:32 set in Arizona in December 2020. The 39-year-old recently finished fifth in the world marathon in Oregon and is also entered for the New York City Marathon on 6 November.

Elite women’s field

Keira D’Amato (USA) 2:19:12

Nancy Jelagat (KEN) 2:19:31

Gutemi Shone Imana (ETH) 2:20:11

Maurine Chepkemoi (KEN) 2:20:18

Workenesh Edesa (ETH) 2:20:24

Sara Hall (USA) 2:20:32

Sisay Gola (ETH) 2:20:50

Vibian Chepkurui (KEN) 2:20:59

Tigist Abayechew (ETH) 2:22:45

Bekelech Gudeta (ETH) 2:22:56

Sayaka Sato (JPN) 2:23:27

Risper Chebet (UGA) 2:23:45

Yukari Abe (JPN) 2:24:02

Meseret Belete (ETH) 2:24:25

Lisa Weightman (AUS) 2:25:15

Natasha Wodak (CAN) 2:26:19

Kanako Takemoto (JPN) 2:26:23

Sonia Samuels (GBR) 2:28:04

Tigist Assefa (ETH) 2:34:01

Rosemary Wanjiru (KEN) Debut

Nigsti Haftu (ETH) Debut

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