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Kipchoge breaks own marathon record

Kenyan great Eliud Kipchoge bettered his own marathon world record by half a minute when he won for a record-equalling fourth time in Berlin.

Two-time Olympic champion Kipchoge clocked 2 hours 1 minute 9 seconds to erase the record of 2:01:39 hours he had clocked 2018 in the German capital. Compatriot Mark Korir was a distant second, 4:49 minutes back.

Kipchoge’s previous Berlin wins were in 2015, 2017 and 2018 and his fourth success put him level with Ethiopian great Haile Gebrselassie.

He has now won 15 of his 17 official marathons, including Olympic gold 2016 and 2021 and the Tokyo marathon in his first 2022 race.

The 37-year-old was on course towards sub two-hours early on but eventually fell well short of the 1:59:40 he had clocked 2019 in Vienna, a time not recognised as a world record because it was not an open race and held under lab conditions.

“I am happy with my preparation and I think I was so fast because of the teamwork,” Kipchoge said. “Everything is down to teamwork.

“What motivates is my family and I want to inspire young people. Sport unites people and that is what motivates me.”

Only a handful of runners could keep up with Kipchoge in the early stages, along with the group of pacemakers.

He gradually shook off last year’s winner Guye Adola but fellow Ethiopian Andamlak Belihu refused to buckle, even as they raced through the halfway mark in a time of 59.10.

Belihu finally dropped back around the 27 kilometre-mark as Kipchoge pushed on for the record, ultimately surging through the final 500-metre sprint and passing through the iconic Brandenburg Gate just as the sun started to emerge to hit the line.

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa stunned the field in the women’s race, winning in 2:15:37, the third-fastest time in history behind record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya and Briton Paula Radcliffe.

Kenyan Rosemary Wanjiru was second ahead of Ethiopian Tigist Abayechew.

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