What record did Gotytom Gebreslase break at the 2022 World Championships?
After biding her time and picking her spot, the Ethiopian closed the marathon in style and by a distance, setting a new World Championships record in the process.
Having won the 2021 Berlin Marathon a little under a year ago on her debut, the Ethiopian star continues to improve as was evident with her record time in Oregon.
It’s gold for Gotytom Gebreslase in World Championships marathon
It was a case of ‘it’s never too late’ on Monday in Oregon at the World Championships, as Gotytom Gebreslase of Ethiopia patiently went to work in the pocket behind her Kenyan rival, before surging ahead in the last stages of the race with a sprint, to cross the finish line first. What’s more, is that Gebreslase completed the feat in a championship-record time of 2 hours, 18 minutes, 11 seconds. Incidentally, she also managed to fight off a challenge from Judith Jeptum Korir, who finished nine seconds after her in second place. The bronze medal was claimed by Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, a Kenyan-born runner who represents Israel. American Sara Hall turned in a strong performance, but had to settle for a fifth-place finish.
Patience and grit earned Gebreslase her win at the World Championships
In truth, it didn’t take very long before Gebreslase - accompanied by Korir - pulled away from the pack around the 17-mile mark. The pair then proceeded to stretch that gap to almost a full minute, before Korir began to show signs of frustration. Indeed, noticing her rival’s tension, Gebreslase seemed continue to tuck in behind her in preparation for what was to come. At times, Korir could be seen motioning to Gebreslase to help her set pace, but the Ethiopian runner stuck to her game plan. Ultimately, with about six minutes left in the race, Gebreslase took her opportunity during a downhill portion of the course where she nipped by Korir and then proceeded to speed away into the distance.
Gebreslase and her Championships record
As mentioned above, it wasn’t just that she won gold, but Gebresalse broke the World Championships record doing it. Set by Paula Radcliffe of Britain in 2005 with a time of 2:20:57, the record wasn’t a focal point before the race began, but it quickly became a topic conversation as marathon got into a rhythm. It was somewhere around the 121-mile mark in fact, when the race began to change. Defending champion Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya began to lag behind and it wasn’t long before she actually dropped out. At this point the 39-year-old American began to make her move, eventually going on - as previously mentioned - to a strong finish with a time of 2:22:10.
How did other runners do in the marathon?
Where the rest of the field is concerned, it was interesting to see a who’s who of the women’s marathon world having to take what they could behind the young Ethiopian. Emma Bates took seventh, while American women’s marathon record holder Keira D’Amato was eighth. Incidentally, D’Amato was a late replacement for Molly Seidel, winner of the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics last summer. Seidel recently posted on Instagram that she was focusing on her mental health while attempting to recuperate her hip. There was also Joan Benoit Samuelson, the 1984 Olympic marathon winner, who was the starter for the field as it traversed the three-loop course with its scenic route over Willamette River and through Pre’s trail, so named in honor of marathon legend, Steve Prefontaine.