BERLIN (Reuters) – Kenya's Olympic gold medalist Eliud Kipchoge scored a sensational world record on Sunday and shook off more than a minute of his best performance with an incredible run in the German capital to score the only big feat left to date is him.
Athletics – Berlin Marathon – Berlin, Germany – September 16, 2018 Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge celebrates the Berlin Marathon and breaks the world record REUTERS / Fabrizio Bensch
The 33-year-old, widely regarded as the greatest modern-day marathon runner, posted an official time of two hours, one minute, and 39 seconds on a sunny and warm fall day along the shallow inner-city course beating Dennis Kimetto's World Best by one minute and 18 seconds.
Kimetto's record had been since the Kenyan put it on the same course in 2014.
"I lack words to describe this day," said a beaming Kipchoge, a former world champion over 5,000 meters and Marathon Gold medalist at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. "I'm really grateful, happy to break the world record. "
"You say you can miss it twice, but not the third time, so I want to thank everyone who helped me," said Kipchoge, who participated in the Nike Breaking Two project last year, where he spent two hours and 25 Seconds using "illegal" pacemakers.
He started at a sizzling pace and quickly shook off his biggest opponent, Wilson Kipsang, to make it a one-man race.
With perfect weather conditions and virtually no wind, it was clear after the first few kilometers that Kipchogue's only opponent would be the clock and his three pacemakers had pushed to the limit to keep up the pace as Kipchoge dropped well below the world record time halftime mark.
But even after the last pacemaker exfoliated after 25 kilometers, Kipchoge showed no sign of slowing down. He overtook the 30km mark in 1:26:45 at a speed of 2:52 per 1,000 meters. Thousands of Berliners lined the streets and fired at him.
Berlin has now seen the world records of the last six men over the distance set on its fast track.
I ran my own race, I trusted my coaches, my program and my coach, which has pushed me in the last few kilometers, "said Kipchoge.
Kipchoge has kept up the pace to sprint through the Brandenburg Gate and complete a world record run, cementing his reputation as one of the greatest runners of all time.
Since its premiere in Hamburg in 2013, Kipchoge has won the World Marathon Majors series in Chicago (2014), Berlin (2015 and 2017) and London (2015, 2016 and 2018).
Kenia finished on podium with Amos Kipruto, who finished second more than five minutes later, and Kipsang, who was world record holder in 2013, finished third.
Kenyan Gladys Cherono won the women's race with a course record and a best time of 2:18:10. The Ethiopian Ruti Aga and the favorite Tirunesh Dibaba before the race remained in second and third place.
Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Arrangement of Amlan Chakraborty