Israel's Lonah Chemtai Saltpeter finished fifth in the London Marathon

Israeli runner Lonah Chemtai Salpeter finished fifth among women who ran the London Marathon on Sunday, a relief after her disappointing result at the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year.

Chemtai Salpeter – a native Kenyan who became an Israeli citizen in 2016 – finished the race with a time of 2:18:54, just over a second after the first-placed and only half a second after the third-placed. Joyciline Jepkosgei from Kenya finished in first place, followed by Degitu Azimeraw from Ethiopia and Ashete Bekere from Kenya.

At the Tokyo 2020 Games, Chemtai Salpeter was considered the medal favorite in the women’s marathon and was at the top of the runners for most of the race. But only four kilometers from the finish she stopped at the edge of the track after severe pain due to menstrual cramps. She eventually returned to finish the race, becoming 66 of 88 runners.

A year earlier she won the Tokyo Marathon, set a new record and her personal best, finishing it in 2:17:45. In 2019 she finished fourth in the Frankfurt Marathon with a time of 2:23:11.

Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei (center), winner of the women’s race, holds her trophy as she celebrates at the London Marathon in central London on Sunday 3rd October with Ethiopia’s second-placed Degitu Azimeraw (left) and Ethiopia’s third-placed Ashete Bekere. 2021. (AP Photo / Kirsty Wigglesworth)

However, at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Chemtai Saltpeter also had a disappointing ending when she was forced to stop prematurely due to shoulder pain caused by running with the extra weight of breast milk, as she was still breastfeeding her son at the time.

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After her finish at the Tokyo Games, she said she was uncomfortable admitting that menstrual cramps made her stop running, but she hopes speaking will make other women more open. “I also feel uncomfortable saying it, but I say it’s in nature, I don’t have to hide anything [just] because men cannot feel the way we feel. “

Chemtai Salpeter, who became an Israeli citizen after marrying her Israeli husband Dan Salpeter, said in August that she was proud to represent Israel and looked forward to serving on behalf of the country at future events like the 2022 World Athletics Championships and compete in the 2024 Olympic Games.

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