Kenyan master Eliud Kipchoge smashes world record with 2:01:39 in Berlin

Source:AFP Published: 2018/9/16 21:13:40

Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge set a new marathon world record in Berlin on Sunday, smashing the previous best as he clocked  2 hours, 1 minute and 39 seconds.

The 33-year-old Olympic champion, aided by a string of pacemakers through to 25 kilometers of the 42.195-kilometer race, took 1 minute and 18 seconds off the previous best set four years ago by Dennis Kimetto.

Acclaimed as the greatest marathon runner of the modern era, Kipchoge has dominated marathon racing since making his debut in Hamburg in 2013 after a successful track career that saw him win world gold and silver (2003, 2007) in the 5,000 meters and Olympic silver and bronze (2008, 2004) over the same distance.

He has notched up 10 wins from the 11 marathons he has raced, winning three times not only in Berlin but also in London, with victories in Rio for Olympic gold as well as in Hamburg, Rotterdam and Chicago.

In the German capital, Kipchoge had just a handful of pacemakers for company from the early stages of the race.

The Kenyan passed through five ­kilometers in 14:24 and 10 kilometers in 29:21.

But shortly after 15 kilometers, which was reached in 43:38, two of the three pacemakers were unable to continue and withdrew from the race.

The final pacemaker, Josphat Boit, led Kipchoge through the halfway point in 1:01:06 before dropping out at 25 kilometers, covered in 1:12:24.

Running alone with 17 kilometers left, Kipchoge then sped up.

He passed the 35-kilometer checkpoint just a shade outside 1:41:00, suggesting a finishing time inside 2:02 was possible. By 40 kilometers, reached in 1:55:32, a world record looked a certainty.

Kipchoge maintained his form well into the closing stages to smash compatriot Kimetto's previous best.

"Yes, it was tough running alone, but I was confident," said Kipchoge, who finished well ahead of compatriots Amos Kipruto (2:06:23) in second and Wilson Kipsang (2:06:48) in third.

There was a Kenyan double as Gladys Cherono ran 2:18:11, a course record and world leading time, to win the women's race.

Ethiopian Ruti Aga finished second in 2:18:34 and six-time Olympic and six-time world medalist Tirunesh Dibaba third (2:18:55), making more history as it was the first time three women have broken 2:19 in one race.


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