BERLIN: Kenyan long-distance runner and double Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge on Sunday shattered his own world record, with a time of 2:01:09 to win the Berlin marathon. It's the second time that Kipchoge has set the official men's world record at the race in the German capital. His previous best in an official 42.2km race was 2:01:39 set on the same course in 2018.
The Ethiopian pair of Guye Adola and Andamlak Belihu, were the only brave athletes who stayed with Kipchoge's blistering pace until the 10km point of the men's race, which they crossed in 28:23, well within the world record target.
But Adola, the 2021 winner, soon fell off the pace set by Kipchoge's preferred pacemaking duo of Moses Koech and Noah Kipkemboi as they approached the 14km point. They reached the halfway mark in 59:51 well within their pre-race target of 60:50 and 96 seconds faster than he ran when he broke the world record at the same course in 2018.
It was down to Kipchoge and Belihu at the 25km after dropping off the last pacer, at which point the 37-year-old began to gradually pull away from the Ethiopian.
With 15km to go it was down to Kipchoge and his unstoppable mind majestically pounding the streets of Berlin, breaking an occasional smile, chasing his second world record in five years.
At 35km, he was over one minute within his world record pace but slowed slightly and with 2km to go he was nearly 36 seconds faster than his 2018 winning time. As he tackled the last kilometre on his way to winning his 17th marathon of 19 starts, Kipchoge's face lit up, delighted that he had again defied human limits.
He crossed the finish line for his fourth win in Berlin, with the official time clocked at 2 hours, 1 minute, and 9 seconds, punching his fists in the air before hugging coach Patrick Sang, as the world celebrated another remarkable feat by the greatest ever marathoner.
This was his second marathon this year after winning the Tokyo Marathon in March. He is also the first human to run the distance in under two-hours, when he did so in specialist conditions for an unofficial event, an olympics.com report said.