Eliud Kipchige, Kenya’s Olympic marathon champion on Sunday, set a new world record in Berlin, Germany, reducing the previous world record by more than a minute.
The title was the only hon our to have eluded Kipchige in his career.
The 33-year-old, who is seen as the greatest marathon runner of the modern era, ran an official time of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds, beating Dennis Kimetto’s world best by a minute and 18 seconds.
Kimetto’s record had stood since he set it at the same event in 2014.
“I lack words to describe this day,” Kipchoge, a former world champion over 5,000 metres and marathon gold medallist at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016 said.
“I am really grateful, happy to smash the world record.”
They say you can miss it twice but not third time. So I want to thank everyone who has helped me”.
He started off with a pace, with which he quickly lost his biggest opponent, Wilson Kipsang, to make it a one-man race.
With perfect weather conditions and no wind, it was clear after the opening few kilometres that Kipchoge would only have the clock to beat.
Even after 25 kilometres, Kipchoge showed no sign of slowing down, passing the 30km mark in 1:26:45, with a pace of 2:52 per 1,000 metres.
“It was hard. I ran my own race, I trusted my trainers, my programme and my coach. That’s what pushed me in the last kilometres,” Kipchoge added.
He kept up with the pace to sprint through the Brandenburg Gate, to complete a world record run that cements his reputation as one of the greatest runners of all time.
Since making his debut at the event in Hamburg in 2013, Kipchoge has won World Marathon majors series runs in Chicago in 2014, he won in Berlin in 2015 and 2017. He also won in 2015, 2016 and 2018 in London.
Expectedly, Kenya completed their podium sweep with Amos Kipruto in second place, and more than five minutes later, another Kenyan, Kipsang, a 2013 world record holder, finished in third place.
In the women’s category, Gladys Cherono of Kenya finished first with a course record and best time of the year of 2:18:10, leaving Ethiopians, Ruti Aga and pre-race favourite Tirunesh Dibaba in second and third place respectively.
Berlin has now recorded the last six men’s world records set at the event.