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201017162052 peres jepchirchir half marathon
Peres Jepchirchir celebrates victory during a past marathon
  • Jepchirchir says she has a nagging injury
  • She had already travelled to New York
  • Brigid Kosgei, Sharon Lokedi and Hellen Obiri will clash in the race

Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir has pulled out from Sunday’s New York Marathon, where she was going to hunt for a second title, citing injury.

Jepchirchir was part of a stacked field in New York that included fellow Kenyans Brigid Kosgei, Sharon Lokedi and Hellen Obiri.

“I sustained a lower leg injury during the last workout of my marathon training. I travelled to New York with hopes that it would improve but after two days of physical therapy, we have made the decision that I should not start the race,” Jepchirichir said, making the announcement on her social media pages.

Jepchirchir added: “I still hope to defend my Olympic title in Paris next year and do not want to do anything that might put that in jeopardy. I wish good luck to everybody running on Sunday.”

Her absence will however still leave a stacked field with the three Kenyans leading the cast for a possible title.

Kenya’s Lokedi won when making her marathon debut in New York last year in 2:23:23 and she returns to defend her title but given the strength of her opposition, it will be far from a walk in the park.

“Last year, I came into the New York City Marathon with the goal of being in the thick of the race, and the result was better than I could have ever hoped for,” Lokedi said when being announced for the race. “This year, I’m returning with a different mindset, hungry to defend my title and race against the fastest women in the world.”

Kosgei making her debut in New York 

Brigid scaled

Brigid Kosgei wins the women’s Tokyo Marathon

They include former world record-holder Kosgei, Boston Marathon winner Obiri and Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey, the 10,000m and half marathon world record-holder who ran 2:16:49 last year in Valencia.

After marathon wins in Chicago, London and Tokyo, Kenya’s Kosgei makes her debut in New York. The 2:14:04 she ran in Chicago in 2019 remained the world record until Tigist Assefa clocked 2:11:53 in Berlin in September and now Kosgei sits third on the world all-time list after Sifan Hassan improved to 2:13:44 in Chicago last month.

Ready to embrace the hills of New York, Kosgei returns to marathon action for the first time since April, when she dropped out of London. Prior to that, she won the Tokyo title in a course record of 2:16:02 in March 2022.

Meanwhile, Obiri, who has since relocated most of her training to the US, says she is ready to challenge for her second marathon title.

She has had a feel of the hilly New York terrain and feels her body is ready to battle.

Obiri ready for battle 

Hellen win Boston scaled

Hellen Obiri wins the Boston Marathon. PHOTO/World Athletics

“I have trained really well over the last several weeks here in New York and I feel I am ready. I know it is not going to be easy because there is a lot of competition. Everyone in the field is able to win so I will just go in there to run my best race and hopefully get a good result,” Obiri said.

It is not only that quintet who will hope to make an impact in New York. The field also features Kenya’s two-time world champion Edna Kiplagat, who finished fourth in Boston and New York last year, plus 2021 Boston runner-up Mary Ngugi-Cooper and 2021 New York runner-up Viola Cheptoo, as well as USA’s Molly Huddle and Kellyn Taylor, who finished in the top eight in New York in 2017, 2019 and 2021.

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