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Peres says preparation will be key as she eyes Olympic gold in Paris

Athletics
 Kenya's Peres Jepchirchir crosses the line to win the women's race in a world record time for a women's only race at the 2024 London Marathon in central London on April 21, 2024.[AFP]

Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir believes the 2024 Paris showdown will be won at the preparation stage.

She will be heading to the 2024 Olympic Games as the defending champion and aside from that, she takes to Paris one of the most impressive marathon CVs.

In 2021, Jepchirchir became the first woman in history to have won Olympic, and New York City Marathon titles.

Fresh from shattering the women-only marathon world record in London, Jepchirchir just showed her mettle, having fired a warning shot in winning the World Half marathon in Riga last October, her third title.

The New York City Marathon winner says she is so focused on her training that she was no longer celebrating the women-only record achievement from the 2024 London Marathon on April 21.

When asked whether breaking the women-only world marathon record in London is inspiring her ahead of the Paris Olympic Marathon in August, she says: “I think so, but I am not going there alone. The team is strong and I know it is not easy. We are praying for good health and strength.”

She went on: “I am not celebrating anymore because I know that we are facing a big giant in front of us.”

To Jepchirchir, good health is key. She is returning to form after battling injuries.

She withdrew from the 2022 New York City Marathon due to muscle injury.

Jepchirchir asked Kenyans to give the Kenyan team to the 2024 Paris Olympic team moral support ahead of the international showpiece.

She says it was not easy for her and the marathon team to be at the Olympics.

“We are going to run for Kenyans, not ourselves. We are asking Kenyans to pray for and support us all the way. We promise Kenyans that we are going to do our best.

“I thank Athletics Kenya (AK) for selecting us. It was not easy but they still managed to get a team. It was not easy to be there again,” she says.

It was at the end of 2019 that Jepchirchir made a serious move to the marathon, but she previously had a number of attempts at the distance.

She made her marathon debut – and not exactly an intended one – at the age of 20 at the Kisumu Safaricom Marathon.

Last week, Jepchirchir was named alongside Boston Marathon champion Hellen Obiri and former World Record holder Brigid Kosgei in a final women’s marathon squad.

AK President Jackson Tuwei said a good preparation would give the marathon team an edge at Paris Olympics.

“You saw what she did in London and if she prepares better things will be better,” he said.

“We want to wish them luck; not just to go to the Olympics but to bring a win. We wish that the entire team will go to the podium,”  Tuwei added.

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