2020 Tokyo Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir has revealed she plans to not only defend her New York City Marathon title but also break the course record come Sunday, November 6.
Peres Jepchirchir locks eyes on New York City Marathon record
Jepchirchir is the only athlete to win an Olympic marathon as well as New York marathon in the same year
In 2021, Jepchirchir sprinted for the finish line to beat compatriot Viola Cheptoo, who was second, and third-placed Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh. The 28-year-old won in a time of two hours 22 minutes 39 seconds.
In an interview with Associated Press, reflected on the year 2021, where she became the first athlete to win Olympic gold and the New York marathon in the same year.
“I was not expecting to win,” “Come back again, I was not expecting to win the New York Marathon. I get more motivation, and I believed in myself more, that I can do more better than that,” Jepchirchir told Associated Press.
Jepchirchir has now set her eyes on beating the current course record, set in 2003 by another Kenya, Margaret Okayo who crossed the finish line at a time of 2:22:31. "Last year, I was coming from the Olympics...This time, I have enough time to prepare."
Jepchirchir concluded the interview with AP, highlighting she draws inspiration from World record-holder and seven-time World Marathon Majors winner Mary Keitany. "My hope is to run like Mary Keitany, to follow the steps of Mary Keitany," Jepchirchir said.
Keitany who retired in 2021, had an amazing career which saw her win the London Marathon on three occasions and the New York Marathon four times, as well as finish first at the 2009 World Half Marathon Championships.
Keitany also set a world record in 2017 when she clinched the London Marathon title at a time of 2:17:01, setting the fastest time, to-date still the women-only record.