Men's marathon world record shattered in Berlin

Eliud Kipchoge.
Eliud Kipchoge. Photo credit: Reuters

Kenya's Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge has set a sensational world record, shaving more than a minute off the previous best with a dazzling run to land the one major running accomplishment that had eluded him.

The 33-year-old ran an official time of time of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds in Berlin on Sunday to beat Dennis Kimetto's world best by a minute and 18 seconds in the German capital in 2014.

"I lack words to describe this day," said a beaming Kipchoge, a former world champion over 5000m and marathon gold medallist at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.

"I am really grateful, happy to smash the world record."

He started with a sizzling pace and quickly shook off his biggest opponent, Wilson Kipsang, to make it a one-man race.

It was clear after the opening few kilometres that Kipchoge's only opponent would be the clock and his three pacemakers were pushed to the limit to keep the tempo high.

But even after the last one peeled off after 25km, Kipchoge showed no sign of slowing, passing the 30km mark in 1:26:45, with a pace of 2:52 per 1000m.

Kipchoge kept up the pace to sprint through the Brandenburg Gate and complete a world record run that cements his reputation as one of the greatest runners ever.

Berlin has now seen the last six men's world records over the distance set on its quick course.

Since making his debut in the event in Hamburg in 2013, Kipchoge has won World Marathon Majors series runs in Chicago (2014), Berlin (2015 and 2017) and London (2015, 2016 and 2018).

Kenya completed their podium sweep, with Amos Kipruto in second place more than five minutes later and Kipsang, a former world record holder in 2013, in third.

Fellow Kenyan Gladys Cherono won the women's race 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.

Reuters