Ruth Chepng’etich set to conquer 2024 London Marathon amidst elite competition

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Ruth Chepng’etich set to conquer 2024 London Marathon amidst elite competition

Festus Chuma 12:54 - 19.04.2024

Ruth Chepng’etich is targeting victory and a record at the London Marathon against a strong field as she eyes Olympic selection.

Two-time Chicago Marathon champion Ruth Chepng’etich is poised for a challenging race at the 2024 London Marathon this Sunday. 

Chepng’etich, a formidable competitor who secured third place in the 2020 edition of the event, is aiming for a strong performance, although she has not discounted the possibility of setting a new record. 

The pacemakers in the marathon will play a crucial role in maintaining the pace for the women's group, aiming to beat the women-only world record—a distinct possibility in London where the elite women compete in a separate event from the elite men and the larger mass of runners.

In a press conference ahead of the race, Chepng’etich expressed both enthusiasm and realism about her prospects against a competitive field. 

"I’m happy to be back after that race in 2020. I’m ready to run well, but the field is so strong," she stated. 

Her main rivals include Ethiopia's Tigst Assefa, Kenya's Brigid Kosgei, Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir, and Yalemzerf Yehualaw from Ethiopia, who won the London Marathon in 2022.

"Everybody here is chasing something. For me it’s about winning first, then I’ll think about setting records," she added. 

The London Marathon has been a stage for numerous world records since its inception, with seven records broken to date, including Paula Radcliffe's unmatched 2:15:25 in 2003. 

The marathon’s route, largely unaltered since 1981, takes runners through some of London’s most scenic landmarks, such as the Tower of London and the Houses of Parliament, starting from Greenwich Park and concluding on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.

Chepng’etich also touched upon her Olympic aspirations, noting the importance of the upcoming race for her selection to the Kenyan national team for the Paris Olympics. 

"The Federation will make its selection after Sunday so we’ll see. But winning in London will be harder than in Paris," she noted.

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