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Kenyan Ruth Chepng’etch’s turn has arrived. Eugene is her opportunity to defend the Doha World Athletics Championships gold medal and to put her name up with the greatest all-time. In July, she will race the 2022 Eugene World Athletics Championships marathon. World record holder Brigid Kosgei, and World (women’s only, 65:16) half-marathon record holder Peres Jepchirchir are not in the field. They earned gold and silver at the Tokyo Olympic Games in Sapporo.

In Eugene, it is unlikely that the heat will be nearly the factor that it was in Doha or Sapporo. She failed to finish the latter.

The win isn’t guaranteed but is likely for the 2022 Nagoya Women’s Marathon winner. She won with the fastest time this year at 2:17:18 and the second-fastest women’s-only performance of all time. The 27-year-old also ran 2:17:08 in Dubai in 2019. Only Kosgei (2:14:04, Chicago 2019), Paula Radcliffe (2:15:25, London 2003), and Mary Keitany (2:17:01 in London 2017) have run faster. Radcliffe and Keitany are long retired.

Judith Jeptum, 2022 Paris Marathon winner and 2021 Amsterdam Marathon champion Maureen Chepkemoi are also on the Kenyan team. Angela Tanui, the fourth-place finisher at the Tokyo Marathon on March 6 this year is an alternate.

Chepng’etich won the gold medal at the World Championships in Doha in 2019, clocking 2:32:43 in the oppressive heat. She went on to win the Chicago Marathon in October.

All eyes will be on Ethiopian Athletics to see who they select for their team, but they will not be making it easy for Kenya.