Patience, Patience, Pounce: Gebreslase Wins with Late Surge

By Clay Shaw

World Athletics Championships Oregon 22, Women’s Marathon, July 18, 2022–Gotytom Gebreslase of Ethiopia made it an Ethiopian sweep of gold with a 2:18:11 victory in Eugene, Oregon.  Gebreslase ran behind, or one step to the side of, Judith Jeptum Korir of Kenya for most of the second half of the marathon.  Korir seemed to be annoyed, and then on a slight downhill just past 40K, Gebreslase took off and sped away for the victory.  Korir finished 2nd in 2:18:20. These were the first sub-2:20 times at a World Championships marathon.

Lonah Chemtai Salpeter of Israel won the first ever WC medal for Israel.  She had a strong finish to place third in 2:20:18 and earn the bronze.  Salpeter was headed for the Olympic bronze in the final miles of last year’s Olympic Marathon in Sapporo, Japan, and was passed by USA’s Molly Seidel.  Salpeter prevailed at this event, and sadly, Molly had to withdraw this year for team USA.

Nazret Weldu of Eritrea gave battle with Salpeter, as the two never gave up, and worked together for medal chances.  Weldu was fourth, but did earn a new national record of 2:20:29.

Sara Hall of USA, running patiently and steadily, placed fifth in 2:22:10.  Emma Bates of Boulder, CO finished seventh in 2:23:18, earning a personal best.  Keira D’Amato of Midlothian, VA placed eighth in 2:23:34, despite just being added to the USA team seventeen days before the race.  It was the first time the USA had three women in the top ten at a world championships marathon.

Defending champ Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya took an eight-woman pack out fast, going through 8K in 25:57.  The leaders at the time included three Kenyans and three Ethiopians with Salpeter, and Weldu.  D’Amato went with the leaders, but soon dropped back to a more sensible pace, joining Hall, Bates, and Jess Piasecki of Great Britain (who finished 12th in 2:28:41). 

At 19K Chepngetich, who had been doing much of the leading, dropped back and soon dropped out in visible distress.  Noticing her absence, the leaders surged, and soon it was just a lead group of four.  Korir, Gebreslase, Angela Tanui of Kenya (who finished sixth in 2:22:15), and Ababel Yeshaneh of Ethiopia ran in a group of four for several miles. Tanui was dropped several times, returning again and again, and was finally dropped for good.  Yeshaneh was the next to go, and then dropped out when later passed by Salpeter and Weldu.

40 women started in a very small field, but a very good field.  32 of the 40 starters made it to the finish.  Sadly, many European countries did not send any marathoners to Eugene.  Other than Great Britain, the other European powers were missing.

Full results are here.

Fast start for leaders Salpeter, Tanui, Chepngetich, Gebreslase, Korir, and Bekere. Photo by Michael Scott
Emma Bates, Keira D’Amato, and Sara Hall of USA run with Jess Piasecki of Great Britain and Immaculate Chemutai of Uganda. Photo by Michael Scott
Leslie Sexton of Canada leads a pack of athletes. Sexton was 13th in 2:28:52. In November, Sexton won the Philadelphia Marathon. Photo by Michael Scott
Judith Jeptum Korir of Kenya was second in 2:18:20. She was somewhat annoyed with refusal to lead by the eventual winner Gotytom Gebreslase of Ethiopia. Photo by Michael Scott
Gotytom Gebreslase of Ethiopia surges to win the World Athletics Championship/Oregon 22 Marathon in 2:18:11. Photo by Michael Scott
Epic battle for the bronze medal, Nazret Weldu of Eritrea was fourth, but set a new national record of 2:20:29. Lonah Chemtai Salpeter of Israel earned the bronze in 2:20:18. Photo by Michael Scott
Sara Hall is enjoying the marathon, running with USA teammates Emma Bates and Keira D’Amato, who all rocked ! Photo by Michael Scott
Emma Bates of Boulder, CO set a PR of 2:23:18 and placed seventh. Photo by Michael Scott
Keira D’Amato of Midlothian, VA ran 2:23:34 to finish eighth, despite a late call up to the team. Photo by Michael Scott
Citlali Moscote of Mexico finished tenth in 2:26:33. Photo by Michael Scott
Tereza Hrochova of Czech Republic finished 17th in 2:30:39. Beverly Ramos of Puerto Rico finished 20th in 2:31:10 setting a national record. Photo by Michael Scott
Hanna Lindholm of Sweden was top master and 25th overall in 2:32:08. Photo by Michael Scott
USA women’s marathon team rocks! Emma Bates 2:23:18 PR, Sara Hall 2:22:15 in fifth, and Keira D’Amato 2:23:34 called from the “bullpen” to replace Molly Seidel. All three in top eight !!! Photo: Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly.

Categories: Race Coverage

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