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Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir out of World Championships

Francine Niyonsaba and Olympic 400m champion Steven Gardiner have also scratched from Eugene this week

Peres Jepchirchir Photo by: Kevin Morris

Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, who in the last 11 months won the Olympic women’s marathon champion, the New York City Marathon and the Boston Marathon, will miss the 2022 World Championships due to an ongoing injury.

Peres Jepchirchir at the finish line of the World Athletics Half-Marathon Championships, which she won in a women’s-only world record of 1:05:16

The runner told Kenya’s The Nation that she suffered a hip injury in training and that her entire leg is in pain.

Jepchirchir won the Olympic title in Tokyo last year in a time of 2:27:20 to beat world record holder Brigid Kosgei and American runner Molly Seidel for gold.

The 2016 and 2020 World Half-Marathon Championships winner said she is disappointed, but would rather not aggravate her injury. Jepchirchir aims to return for the 2023 World Championships in Budapest before she begins her Olympic title defence at the 2024 Paris Games.

The 28-year-old marathoner won the Boston Marathon and NYC Marathon in her debut and was a late addition to Kenya’s world championship team, alongside the reigning world champion, Ruth Chepngetich, 2022 Paris Marathon champion Judith Jeptum and 2:17 marathoner Angela Tanui.

Jepchirchir isn’t the only Olympic champion to have scratched from Eugene this week. Olympic and world 400m champion Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas will also miss the championships with tendon inflammation. Gardiner made headlines at the Tokyo Olympics after running the 400m heats in a baggy T-shirt, then going on to win the gold medal. Gardiner has not lost a 400m race since 2017, collecting 23 straight victories.

Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba is also out of the championships as a late scratch, due to a stress fracture she suffered during training. The 2016 Olympic 800m silver medallist had been entered to compete in the women’s 5,000m and 10,000m and was among the favourites to medal.

Francine Niyonsaba at the 2022 Prefontaine Classic. Photo: Kevin Morris

Niyonsaba posted on social media that she had no choice but to withdraw from the 2022 World Championships: “My team and I did everything possible to recover, but unfortunately I am not in the shape that can allow me to perform to the level I want.”

At the Tokyo Olympics, Niyonsaba finished fifth in the women’s 10,000m in a national record of 30:41.93, and was disqualified from the 5,000m due to a lane violation. The 29-year-old has adjusted well to longer distances after being barred from competing between 400m and 1,500m because of naturally high levels of testosterone. Niyonsaba is the only woman from Burundi to win a medal at the Olympic Games.

The 2022 World Athletics Championships are set to begin on Friday, July 15, from Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. Follow Canadian Running on Twitter on Instagram for all things Team Canada and up-to-date exclusive news and content.

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