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.
Categories: Race Coverage