BERLIN (Agencies): Double Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge has broken his own men’s marathon world record at Sunday’s race in Berlin.
The 37-year-old Kenyan crossed the line in a time of two hours, one minute and nine seconds, to beat by 30 seconds his previous best, set four years ago in the German capital city.
He had previously taken one minute 20 seconds off compatriot Dennis Kimetto’s 2014 record of 2:02.57 in Berlin.
Kipchoge had played down his chances of a world record in the build up.
“I am happy with my preparation and I think I was so fast because of the teamwork. Everything is down to teamwork,” he said.
“What motivates me is my family and I want to inspire young people. Sport unites people and that is what motivates me.”
On an overcast day in Berlin, Kipchoge, who has now won 15 of his 17 career marathons, ran the first half of the 26.2-mile race in 59 minutes, 51 seconds, prompting thoughts that he may become the first runner to break the two-hour mark in an official race
He has run a marathon in under two hours, in Vienna in 2019. However, that was not recognised as the official world record because it was not in open competition and he used a team of rotating pacemakers.
When asked whether he would attempt a sub-two hour run in Berlin next year, Kipchoge replied: “Let us plan for another day.
“I will celebrate this record and have to realise what happens. Just roll and see what happens.”
Andamlak Belihu was the only runner able to keep up with Kipchoge, who set a blistering pace from the start, but the Ethiopian dropped back around 17 miles into the race.
It is a fourth victory in Berlin for Kipchoge, matching Ethiopia great Haile Gebrselassie’s record.
Fellow Kenyan Mark Korir was second, four minutes and 49 seconds behind Kipchoge, with Ethiopian Tadu Abate third.
In the women’s race, Ethiopia’s Tigist Assefa ran the third fastest time in history to set a course record of 2:15.37.