What you need to know:
- Jepchirchir was a late inclusion in the women’s marathon team for the World Athletics Championships starting Friday in Eugene, Oregon, United States
- Jepchichir said it was on Monday last week when she started having some discomfort with her hip that was swollen, forcing her to inform the team management
- The team now remains with defending champion Ruth Chepng’etich, Paris Marathon champion Judith Jeptum, and Angela Tanui, who finished fourth at this year's Tokyo Marathon on March 6
A hip injury has ended Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchichir’s dream of clinching a double within one year.
Jepchirchir was a late inclusion in the women’s marathon team for the World Athletics Championships starting Friday in Eugene, Oregon, United States.
Jepchirchir became the second Kenyan woman to win the Olympic title when she swept the streets of Sapporo, Japan to victory in two hours, 27 minutes and 20 seconds on August 7, last year.
She beat compatriot Brigid Kosgei to second place in 2:27:36 as Molly Seidel from the United States settled for bronze in 2:27:46.
Team Kenya leaves in batches starting Tuesday dawn for Oregon.
Jepchichir said it was on Monday last week when she started having some discomfort with her hip that was swollen, forcing her to inform the team management.
“I informed the Team Kenya management on Wednesday when it got worse. I sought advice from Team Kenya doctor Victor Bargoria and he told me to rest.
“For sure the hip and the whole leg is painful,” explained Jepchirchir, who holds the 2016 and 2020 World Half Marathon Championships titles.
“I am so disappointed but I would rather not aggravate the injury since we still have another world event next year before my Olympic title defence at the 2024 Paris Summer Games,” said Jepchirchir, who hopes to heal in time to defend her New York City Marathon crown on November 6.
The team now remains with defending champion Ruth Chepng’etich, Paris Marathon champion Judith Jeptum, and Angela Tanui, who finished fourth at this year's Tokyo Marathon on March 6.
The marathon teams that have been training separately in Eldoret, Kapsabet and Ngong are to link up with the rest before departure.
The men’s marathon race will be held on July 17, the third day of the championships, while the women’s race will take place the following day.
Separately, team manager Rono Bunei said the first batch will leave the country on Tuesday at 1.50am followed by the next batch on Wednesday at a similar time.
The country will be represented at the championships with a contingent of 62 that includes 46 athletes- 25 men and 21 women.
Bunei declared that the team is ready after two weeks of training as he named the 2015 World javelin champion Julius Yego as the overall team captain assisted by Africa 100m champion Ferdinand Omanyala.
Bunei said that they have had good sessions with the athletes both at Karura for the long runs and track session at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
“Things are looking sharp and our athletes are ready to shock the world. The togetherness in the team has made things easy for the coaches," explained Bunei.
Bunei said that they head to Oregon with a new kind of vibe after Omanyala, the Africa Record holder in 100m, created some kind of excitement in short races.
Bunei noted that the return of World 3,000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto to form alongside Abraham Kibiwott, Benjamin Kigen and Leonard Bett set the stage for an exciting steeplechase event.
“We want to put all of them in the final and strategise on how we shall not only defend the title but lock out our rivals from the podium finish,” said Bunei.
Bunei explained that the World Under-20 3,000m steeplechase champion Jackline Chepkoech is in devastating form with the 2016 and 2018 World Under-20 steeplechase champion Celliphine Chespol also having rediscovered her form.
“This looks good with the World champion Beatrice Chepkoech and the 2014 Commonwealth Games champion Purity Kirui in the mix,” said Bunei, adding that the men’s 800m final close finish is a pointer on what to expect in Oregon.
“We have tirelessly worked to ensure Kenya performs well in 5,000m and 10,000m races,” said Bunei.