Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Kenyan Kipchoge shatters marathon world record in Berlin

Elite runners Wilson Kipsang and Eliud Kipchoge with pacers at the start of Berlin marathon MAJA HITIJ GETTY IMAGES Elite runners Wilson Kipsang and Eliud Kipchoge with pacers at the start of Berlin marathon
Steven Clarke | 16 September, 2018, 18:49

The 33-year old who came eight seconds close to breaking the 2:02:57 mark at the London Marathon in 2016 ran a race against the clock nearly the entire race becoming the first man ever to run the marathon under two hours and two minutes, as he achieved a target he had longed for.

By the half way mark, Kipchoge had completely imposed himself on the race with chasing compatriot Wilson Kipsang and Amos Kipruto nowhere in sight.

With weather conditions flawless and virtually no wind, 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 as Kipchoge dipped well below world-record time by the halfway mark.

"I had a great belief that I would run a world record", Kipchoge told the TV broadcast.

"My only words are 'Thank you!'" said Kipchoge.

At the 25km mark, with the last pacemaker's job done, Kipchoge surged ahead on his own with only the clock to beat.

Berlin has now been the stage for the last six men's world records over the distance.

Man dies from shark attack off Cape Cod
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Kipchoge came agonizingly close to sporting immortality by almost running the first sub two-hour marathon a year ago. By 40 kilometres, reached in 1:55:32, a world record was a certainty.

But even after the last one peeled off after 25-kilometres, Kipchoge showed no sign of slowing, passing the 30km mark in 1:26:45, with a pace of 2:52 per 1,000-metres. Cherono won in 2:18:11, breaking the previous course record (2:19:12, Mizuki Noguchi, 2005) by over a minute.

And on a pleasant autumn day in Berlin the 33-year-old lived up to that billing - and more - as he proved beyond doubt that he is the greatest long distance runner in history by obliterating the marathon world record.

Amos Kipruto finished second in 2:06:22, with former world record holder Wilson Kipsang third in 2:06:47. That's 50 seconds inside world record pace, and the previously unimaginable time of two hours and two minutes was a real possibility.

But Kipchoge produced a stunning performance to take it by a clear 78 seconds.

During the 2016 Olympic games in Rio, Kipchoge won a gold medal in the marathon, having previously claimed silver in Beijing 2008 and bronze in Athens 2004 both in the 5000m.

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