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Olympic champion Jepchirchir wins women's race at London Marathon in record time

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Olympic champion Jepchirchir wins women's race at London Marathon in record time
Sport

Sport

Olympic champion Jepchirchir wins women's race at London Marathon in record time

2024-04-21 20:58 Last Updated At:21:10

LONDON (AP) — Peres Jepchirchir was more focused on securing a chance to defend her Olympic gold than on setting a world record for a women-only marathon.

She ended up doing both after pulling away late to win the London Marathon women’s race on Sunday.

Jepchirchir had by far the strongest finish as she easily left world-record holder Tigst Assefa and two other rivals behind to sprint alone down the final stretch in front of Buckingham Palace. She finished in 2 hours, 16 minutes, 16 seconds, with Assefa in second and Joyciline Jepkosgei in third.

That was more than 4 minutes slower than Assefa's overall women's world record set in Berlin last year, but it was the fastest time ever in a women-only marathon, beating the mark of 2:17:01 set by Mary Keitany in London in 2017. The elite women’s field in London starts about 30 minutes ahead of the elite men.

But more importantly for Jepchirchir, it should cement her place on Kenya's Olympic team for Paris. She said the London Marathon was the final qualifying race before Kenya's Olympic selectors pick their team for Paris.

“I was not expecting to run that time," Jepchirchir said. “I was trying to work extra hard to defend my title in the Olympics.”

It was also a bit of redemption for Jepchirchir after finishing third in London last year, when she was beaten in a similarly tight finish and came in five seconds behind winner Sifan Hassan.

Coming out on top in a late sprint this time will only boost her confidence going into Paris.

“I think it helps me a lot,” she said. “For me, when I reach 800 meters (left), it’s difficult to defeat me.”

She was part of a Kenyan double with Alexander Mutiso Munyao, who won the men's race.

AP sports: https://apnews.com/sports

Runners including Joyce Chepkirui, Brigid Kosgei, Becky Briggs, Tigst Assefa and Mhairi Maclennan as the women's elite race gets under way at the London Marathon, London, Sunday April 21, 2024. (Zac Goodwin/PA via AP)

Runners including Joyce Chepkirui, Brigid Kosgei, Becky Briggs, Tigst Assefa and Mhairi Maclennan as the women's elite race gets under way at the London Marathon, London, Sunday April 21, 2024. (Zac Goodwin/PA via AP)

Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya is about to cross the finish line to win the women's race at the London Marathon in London, Sunday, April 21, 2024.(AP Photo/David Cliff)

Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya is about to cross the finish line to win the women's race at the London Marathon in London, Sunday, April 21, 2024.(AP Photo/David Cliff)

Next Article

Duran homers and steals home as Red Sox beat Rays 5-2

2024-05-22 10:26 Last Updated At:10:32

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Jarren Duran homered and stole home as the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-2 on Tuesday night.

Duran scored to make it 4-2 during a double steal with Rafael Devers in a go-ahead, two-run eighth against Jason Adam (2-1). Duran headed home after Rays catcher Ben Rortvedt tried to throw Devers out at second and beat a return throw to the plate with a head-first slide.

“Stealing home to get us an extra run is always awesome,” Duran said.

Devers had his team record of homering in six consecutive games end. Only nine players have gone deep in seven straight games. Ken Griffey Jr. (1993), Don Mattingly (1987) and Dale Long (1956) share the longest streak with eight.

“It was great run there,” Boston manager Alex Cora said, “It's amazing.”

Devers singled in three at-bats for an 11-game hitting streak, He was intentionally walked in the decisive eighth that saw Wilyer Abreu hit a tiebreaking single earlier in the inning.. It was Devers' first stolen base this season,

“It makes me happy to help the team win,” Devers said through a translator.

Rays manager Kevin Cash called the double steal a “good play by them.”

By winning the first two games of a three-game set, the Red Sox won their first road series against the Rays since July 22-24, 2019. Boston moved back over .500 at 25-24.

The Rays have dropped a season high-tying three straight games and fell to 25-25.

Duran homered leading off the sixth off Rays starter Zack Littell to tie it at 2. Reese McGuire had a solo drive in the ninth.

“With the new rules and everything, he’s the perfect player for this environment,” Cora said of Duran. “He can run, he can hit it out of the ballpark. He’s a good defender.”

Tampa Bay has allowed a major league-leading 41 homers at home.

Greg Weissert (2-1) struck out two in a perfect seventh and Kenley Jansen worked the ninth to get his 14th save in 17 chances..

Isaac Paredes put the Rays up 2-0 on a two-run single against Cooper Criswell in the first. Boston got within 2-1 on a second-inning RBI single by Vaughn Grissom.

Littell gave up two runs and three hits over 5 2/3 innings. Criswell allowed two runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: Cora said reliever Liam Hendriks (Tommy John surgery) is “trending in the right direction” and remains optimistic the right-hander will be back this season. … DH Masataka Yoshida (strained left thumb) is getting treatment and “improving but not there yet to do baseball activities,” according to Cora. … 1B Triston Casas (strained left ribs) has added throwing to his workout program.

Rays: SS Taylor Walls, out all season following right hip surgery, went 0 for 2 and played five innings of defense in his first game with the rookie-level FCL Rays.

UP NEXT

Rays RHP Ryan Pepiot (3-2, 3.68 ERA) will make his first start Wednesday night since getting hit in the lower left leg by an 107.5 mph liner by the New York Mets’ Starling Marte on May 5. RHP Brayan Bello (4-2, 3.96 ERA) will be the Boston starter.

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB

Boston Red Sox's Jarren Duran celebrates his solo home run off Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Zack Littell with third base coach Kyle Hudson (84) during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox's Jarren Duran celebrates his solo home run off Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Zack Littell with third base coach Kyle Hudson (84) during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox's Jarren Duran (16) steals home plate ahead of the throw to Tampa Bay Rays catcher Ben Rortvedt during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox's Jarren Duran (16) steals home plate ahead of the throw to Tampa Bay Rays catcher Ben Rortvedt during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox's Jarren Dura reacts after steal home plate against the Tampa Bay Rays during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox's Jarren Dura reacts after steal home plate against the Tampa Bay Rays during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox's Ceddanne Rafaela, left, scores behind Tampa Bay Rays catcher Ben Rortvedt on an RBI single by Wilyer Abreu during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox's Ceddanne Rafaela, left, scores behind Tampa Bay Rays catcher Ben Rortvedt on an RBI single by Wilyer Abreu during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox's Wilyer Abreu hits an RBI single off Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jason Adam during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Boston's Ceddanne Rafaela scored on the play. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox's Wilyer Abreu hits an RBI single off Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jason Adam during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Boston's Ceddanne Rafaela scored on the play. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers fields a ground ball by Tampa Bay Rays' Amed Rosario and gets the force play on Isaac Paredes during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers fields a ground ball by Tampa Bay Rays' Amed Rosario and gets the force play on Isaac Paredes during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Tampa Bay Rays' Randy Arozarena, right, celebrates his double off Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Cooper Criswell during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Looking on is Boston Red Sox second baseman Vaughn Grissom. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Tampa Bay Rays' Randy Arozarena, right, celebrates his double off Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Cooper Criswell during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Looking on is Boston Red Sox second baseman Vaughn Grissom. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Cooper Criswell delivers to the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Cooper Criswell delivers to the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Zack Littell delivers to the Boston Red Sox during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Zack Littell delivers to the Boston Red Sox during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Tampa Bay Rays' Randy Arozarena (56) scores ahead of the throw to Boston Red Sox catcher Reese McGuire on a two-run single by Isaac Paredes during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. looking on is home plate umpire Vic Carapazza. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Tampa Bay Rays' Randy Arozarena (56) scores ahead of the throw to Boston Red Sox catcher Reese McGuire on a two-run single by Isaac Paredes during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. looking on is home plate umpire Vic Carapazza. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

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