© Reuters. Athletics – Berlin Marathon – Berlin, Germany – September 25, 2022 Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge celebrates winning the Berlin Marathon and breaking the world record REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
BERLIN (Reuters) – Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge broke his own marathon world record on Sunday by winning the Berlin race with a time of 2:01.09 to cut his previous world record set by half a minute in the German capital four years ago.
The 37-year-old, who has now won 15 of his 17 career marathons, including two Olympic triumphs and 10 Major titles, was in a class of his own, setting a blistering pace along the flat downtown course in overcast weather . to cement his status as the greatest marathon runner of all time.
“I’m happy with my preparation and I think I was so fast thanks to teamwork,” Kipchoge said. “It’s all about teamwork.
“I planned to go out fast in the first half. I thought I’d try to run fast. It was a wonderful performance. My legs and body still feel young. But the most important thing is my mind, and it also feels fresh and young. I’m so happy to break the world record.”
Only a handful of runners were able to follow his split times of less than three minutes per kilometer in the early stages, with the group of pacemakers.
He gradually shook off last year’s winner, Guye Adola, but fellow Ethiopian Andamlak Belihu refused to back down, even as they crossed the halfway mark in less than an hour.
Belihu eventually backed off around the 27 kilometer mark as Kipchoge pushed for the record.
The Kenyan, who retained his Olympic title at the Tokyo Games last year, missed his world mark by just over a minute at the Tokyo Marathon in March, but he was not denied in Berlin.
After slowing down slightly in the second half of the race, he still managed the final 500 meter sprint.
Passing through the city’s iconic Brandenburg Gate just as the sun was beginning to appear, a beaming Kipchoge crossed the finish line to set another record.
Kipchoge is the only man to run a marathon under two hours when he clocked 1:59.40 on a specially designed track in Vienna in 2019, but the time is not officially recognized as he has not been established in competition.
Asked if he would attempt a sub-two hour race in Berlin next year, Kipchoge said: “Let’s plan another day. I have to celebrate this record and realize what’s going on. Just ride and see what happens.”
“There is still more to my legs. I hope the future is still great. My mind is still moving, the body is still absorbing the training.”
Fellow Kenyan Mark Korir completed a brace for the African nation, four minutes and 49 seconds behind, with Ethiopian Tadu Abate third.
Ethiopia’s Tigist Assefa stunned the field in the women’s race, winning in 2:15:37, the third fastest time in history. Only record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya and Britain’s Paula Radcliffe have run faster marathons.
Kenya’s Rosemary Wanjiru finished second ahead of Ethiopia’s Tigist Abayechew.