Eliud Kipchoge takes 30 seconds off his men’s marathon world record in Berlin

The 37-year-old’s finishing time to win the race on Sunday was some 30 seconds faster than his previous world-best mark, set in the German capital four years ago.
Eliud Kipchoge takes 30 seconds off his men’s marathon world record in Berlin

WORLD RECORD: Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge has bettered his own world record in the Berlin Marathon. Kipchoge clocked 2:01:09 on Sunday to shave 30 seconds off his previous best-mark of 2:01:39 from the same course in 2018. (AP Photo/Christoph Soeder)

Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge has shattered his own marathon world record, winning the Berlin event with a time of two hours, one minute and nine seconds.

The 37-year-old’s finishing time to win the race on Sunday was some 30 seconds faster than his previous world-best mark, set in the German capital four years ago.

Kipchoge has now won 15 of his 17 career marathons, including two Olympic triumphs and 10 major titles. He was in a class of his own here, setting a blistering pace along the flat, fast inner-city course from the start on a cool and overcast day.

Ethiopia’s Tigist Assefa unexpectedly won the women’s race in a course record of two hours, 15 minutes and 37 seconds – 18 minutes faster than she had ever run before, and the third-fastest time ever for a women’s marathon.

Kipchoge covered the first 10km of the race in just 28min 23sec and clocked 42min 32sec at the 15km mark, hinting he could get close to a sub-two-hour time. The defending champion, Guye Adola, and his Ethiopian compatriot Andamlak Belihu managed to keep pace before falling away in the second half of the race.

The leader was left on his own when the final pace-setter dropped off at 25km, and slowed somewhat in reaching the 30km mark in 1hr 25min 40sec. Kipchoge ran the first half of the race in 59min 51sec, and the second half in 61min 18 sec – finishing almost five minutes ahead of his Kenyan compatriot, Mark Korir.

Before the race, Kipchoge had played down his chances of setting a new benchmark in Berlin. “I always say I don’t call a world record but I want to run a good race,” he told BBC Sport Africa earlier this week.

“If all goes well and it becomes either a personal best and world record, then I will celebrate. I don’t know my limits, actually, in Berlin. But I’ll try to push myself. I don’t know where the limit is.”

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