What you need to know:
- Her husband, Davies Ng’eno, was besides himself with joy Saturday, narrating how he could imagine butterflies in Jepchirchir’s stomach ahead of the race.
- Ng’eno said Jepchirchir is a disciplined athlete and the two world records in as many months came after he advised her to continue training despite the challenges brought by the coronavirus.
Peres Jepchirchir was under huge pressure ahead of Saturday’s World Athletics Half Marathon in Gdynia, Poland.
Although it hardly showed as she cruised to a new world record for a women’s only race, clocking one hour, five minutes and 16 seconds.
It was an improvement from her previous world record of 1:05:34 set in Prague just last month.
Her husband, Davies Ng’eno, was besides himself with joy Saturday, narrating how he could imagine butterflies in Jepchirchir’s stomach ahead of the race.
Speaking to Nation Sport from Kapsabet in Nandi County, Ng’eno said he talked to his wife on Friday and yesterday, noting that she was under a lot of pressure, especially given that she was racing against the world’s leading half marathoners.
“We talked on the eve of the race and yesterday morning and she had a lot of pressure but I told her to focus and go for the prize,” Ng’eno explained.
“I also encourage her to run as a team and it’s unfortunate (Joyciline) Jepkosgei fell down during the race but we are happy for the win and the world record,” said Ng’eno.
Ng’eno said Jepchirchir is a disciplined athlete and the two world records in as many months came after he advised her to continue training despite the challenges brought by the coronavirus.
“When the coronavirus pandemic hit the world, athletes were discouraged from group training and I told her not to relax but go on with her programme, and she heeded the call which has now yielded results,” he added.
He said that this calls for a celebration and they will be ready to welcome her back home with the traditional milk upon her arrival on a date which is yet to be confirmed.
Jepchirchir was followed by Germany’s Melat Yisak Kejeta, who smashed the European women-only record, to take silver in 1:05:18, with Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw a close third in 1:05:19.
Jepchirchir, who won the 2016 edition in Cardiff, missed the 2018 edition following a maternity break in 2017 during which time she celebrated her first-born baby, Natalia, who turns three on October 28.
Saturday’s race was televised live by NTV with three-time champion Lornah Kiplagat providing the expert analysis alongside anchors Idah Waringa and Joshua Makori.
“It’s exciting to see many athletes who train in Iten performing well, including the German silver medallist,” Kiplagat, who owns the High Altitude Training Centre in Iten, said.