Hellen Obiri and Peres Jepchirchir’s Nightmare: Tigist Assefa Smashes Marathon Record

Read in 4.16 mintues


– Tigist Assefa’s marathon record ratified

– Set at Berlin Marathon in 2:11:53

– Broke previous record by over 2 mins

– World’s first sub-2:13 marathon

– Surpassed Brigid Kosgei’s record

Hellen Obiri and Peres Jepchirchir’s rival in the 2024 Olympic Games Tigist Assefa has had a morale-boosting achievement after her world marathon record was ratified by World Athletics.

Assefa’s record of 2:11:53 set in Berlin last year has been finally recognised as she prepares to feature in the Paris Games in August.

“The Ethiopian smashed the previous mark by more than two minutes at the Berlin Marathon on September 24, becoming the first woman to run inside 2:13 and 2:12, and erasing the world record of 2:14:04 that had been set by Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei in Chicago on October 13, 2019.

“During Assefa’s record-breaking run, a large pack of the leading contenders ran together through the early stages, passing through 5km in 15:58. 13 women were still in contact with the lead as they reached 10km in 31:45,” World Athletics said in a statement.

How Assefa starred

The Ethiopian was in a very sensational form, given that by 15km, which she crossed in 47:26, alongside her compatriot Workenesh Edesa, she had managed to open up a slight gap.

Less than two kilometres later, Assefa was alone out in front, and she went on to reach the half-way stage in 1:06:20, comfortably inside the world record pace. Assefa, still looking incredibly relaxed and composed, covered the 25-35km section in a remarkable 31:02.

She finally conquered the Berlin course by increasing her pace in the final stage of the race before she charged through the finish line in 2:11:53.

“I hope that my performance will be motivation for young women athletes in Ethiopia and that the world record one year before the Olympic Games gives our country a boost for Paris,” Assefa said then.

Apart from Jepchirchir and Obiri, Brigid Jepkosgei will challenge Assefa in Paris.

Peres Jepchirchir Profile

Peres Jepchirchir (born 27 September 1993) is a Kenyan professional long-distance runner who competes mainly in road running competitions. She won the gold medal in the women’s marathon at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Jepchirchir was the champion at the 2016 and 2020 World Half Marathon Championships. She claimed victories at the 2021 New York City and 2022 Boston Marathon and finished third at the 2023 London Marathon. She claimed a further victory at the 2024 London Marathon, finishing in two hours, 16 minutes and 16 seconds and breaking the women’s only world record (that is, the world record for the fastest time by a female marathon runner without using male pace makers).

Her best time for the half marathon of 1:05:06, set on 10 February 2017 in the UAE, is a former half marathon world record. She holds the women’s only half marathon world record of 1:05:16 set at the 2020 World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland, which was an improvement on her own previous record.

Jepchirchir set a new best of 66:39 minutes at the 2016 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon. Despite the fast time, which moved her to 13th on the all-time lists, the strength in depth of the race left her in fourth some way behind winner Cynthia Cherotich Limo while six women ran quicker than 67 minutes (a first for the sport).

This performance earned her a place on the Kenyan team for the 2016 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. The five-woman team led out the start of the race, with Ethiopia’s Netsanet Gudeta and Genet Yalew also in contention. As the race progressed, this was whittled down to a Kenyan trio of Jepchirchir, Limo and Mary Wacera Ngugi, and this eventually resulted in a sprint finish between Limo and Jepchirchir. Despite having been among the least experienced and well-known of the Kenyan team, it was Jepchirchir who emerged as world champion, finishing the race in 67:31 minutes and leading the Kenyan women to the team title and a podium sweep with Limo and Ngugi.

A course record came at the Yangzhou Jianzhen International Half Marathon in April, with her run of 67:21 minutes.

At the 2017 RAK Half Marathon she broke two world records. She took three seconds off Florence Kiplagat’s half marathon record in 65:06 minutes and set the 20K world record at 61:40 minutes.Her position as the world’s best was short-lived, however, as Joyciline Jepkosgei (third at the RAK race) broke both her world records the following month.

In the 2020 Summer Olympics, she won the gold medal in a time of 2:27.20, given to her by Thomas Bach. She won the 2021 New York City Marathon with a time of 2:22:39, becoming the first person to win the Olympic gold medal and the New York City Marathon in the same year.

 She won the 2022 Boston Marathon with a time of 2:21:02. Due to her hip injury, Jepchirchir had to miss the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon.

She won the 2024 London Marathon, finishing in two hours, 16 minutes and 16 seconds and breaking the women’s only world record (that is, the world record for the fastest time by a female marathon runner without using male pace makers).

Personal bests

  • 5K run – 15:51 (Bolzano 2014)
  • 10K run – 30:55 (Prague 2015)
  • Half marathon – 1:05:06 (Ras Al Khaimah 2017)
  • Half marathon Wo – 1:05:16 (Gdynia 2020) Wo World record
  • Marathon – 2:16:16 (London 2024) Wo World record *Pending Ratification

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *