Last Updated: 16/09/18 10:51am
Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge set a new world record for the marathon in Berlin on Sunday, shaving more than a minute off the previous best.
The 33-year-old, widely seen as the greatest marathon runner of the modern era, ran a time of two hours, one minute and 40 seconds on a sunny and warm autumn day along the flat inner-city course to beat Dennis Kimetto’s world best set of 2:02:57 in Berlin back in 2014.
“I lack words to describe this day,” said a beaming Kipchoge, a former world champion over 5,000 metres and marathon gold medallist at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. “I am really grateful, happy to smash the world record.
“They say you can miss it twice but not third time. So I want to thank everyone who has helped me,” Kipchoge, who last year took part in the Nike Breaking Two project, where he ran two hours and 25 seconds with the aid of “illegal” in and out pacemakers.
He started off with a sizzling pace and quickly shook off his biggest opponent, Wilson Kipsang, to make it a one-man race.
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.
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.
“It was hard. I ran my own race, I trusted my trainers, my programme and my coach. That’s what pushed me in the last kilometres,” he said.
Tottenham midfielder Victor Wanyama took to Twitter on Sunday morning to congratulate his fellow Kenyan, posting a picture of the pair at Spurs’ training ground holding a club shirt with the runners name on it.
“Congratulation my friend, Eliud Kipchoge, for breaking the world marathon record. Proud of you brother #Magicalkenya,” Wanyama tweeted.
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.