BERLIN - Kenya's Wilson Kipsang said he was delighted to break the marathon world record in Berlin on Sunday in a new official best time of 2hrs 3 mins and 23 seconds. The 31-year-old shaved 15 seconds off the previous world record set by compatriot Patrick Makau, who ran 2:03.38 over 42.195 kilometres (26.2miles) in the German capital two years ago. Kipsang said in the build up that he was running to break the world record, and he was true to his word having missed Makau's time by just four seconds two years ago in Frankfurt.
Having seen compatriot Paul Tergat become the first person to run the marathon in under two hours and five minutes exactly a decade ago, Kipsang said he was inspired to break the world record once more in the German capital. "This is a dream come true and it happenened in Berlin," said Kipsang, who collected the winner's cheque of 40,000 euros (US$54,068) with a 50,000 euros bonus for the world record. "Ten years ago, I watched Paul Tergat beat the record world in Berlin and this time it's me whose done it.
"With good training and excellent conditions, I think I have the potential to go faster. I think in the last few kilometres I had the feeling it was on and I was feeling strong, I didn't want to make the same mistake I made in Frankfurt. My plan was to really push in the last few kilometres, I knew it would be a fight. I just wanted to make sure we had a good pace at the start and I knew the record was beatable. It was my first time racing here, it's a really nice course and a great city. I love it here!"
Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge, who won the Hamburg marathon in April on his debut over the distance, finished second in a personal best time of 2:04.05 with compatriot Geoffrey Kipsang third with 2:06.26. This is the ninth time a world record has been set in Berlin and five men's world records have been set here in the last decade alone. Makau was missing in the German capital having withdrawn a fortnight ago with a knee injury.
Kipsang, the Olympic bronze medallist and winner of last year's London Marathon, broke away from the leading pack in the final 10 kilometres, chased by Kipchoge. The elite group had been on world record pace up until 29km, but when the tempo dropped, Kipsang took matters into his own hands and was three seconds under the necessary pace in the final two kilometres.
The women's race was won for a second time by Kenya's Florence Kiplagat in a time of 2hrs 21mins 13secs, six minutes off Paula Radcliffe's world record set ten years ago in London. Germany's Irina Mikitenko finished third to break the world masters record for the over 40s, in a time of 2:24.54.