- Kipchoge missed out on the opportunity to break a World Record
- He is now the most successful marathoner in Berlin
- Ethiopia’s Tigst Assefa broke the women’s world record
Eliud Kipchoge became the most successful athlete at the Berlin Marathon after clinching his fifth title on Sunday, in a time of 2:02:42. Kipchoge had hoped to make an attempt at a third World Record, but a tough second half of the race meant he couldn’t make an attempt.
After the race, he said he was disappointed that he couldn’t lower his world mark, but says there were lessons to pick.
“I had started well but there were little bit of hiccups, but it happens in a race. I was expecting to do the same (break a world record) but it did not come as I expected but that is how sports is. I have learnt lessons; I have won but no World Record. Every race is a learning lesson,” said the reigning Olympic champion after the race.
Kipchoge had started off in comfortable pace, clearing the first 1okm in 28:27, well within world record pace. He cleared 15km in 42:46 and looked comfortable. At the half marathon point, he timed 60:22, slower than his split when he broke the world record last year.
Ethiopian Kindie Dersah had stuck close to Kipchoge all this time, perched just behind his three pacemakers.
At the 25km mark, one of the pacers dropped leaving Kipchoge with two and the Ethiopian. But, at the 30km mark when the last of three pacers dropped off, the Ethiopian had enough of the scorching pace. He dropped out of the race and left it all to the Kenyan giant.
Kipchoge drop off the world record pace
But, at the 35km mark, Kipchoge had drastically fallen off World Record pace, but enjoyed a 47 second gap to the chasing pack that had Vincent Kipkemoi and Amos Kiprutto.
He seemed to have been struggling and it showed with a grimace on his face. With fivekilometres left, the chasing pack had eaten up 31 seconds of the gap, and there was the real danger that they would catch up.
But once he stole a glance over his shoulder and realized the pack was closing in, he stepped up the tempo. In the final 2km of the race, he was clearly ahead, and there was no doubt that he would defend his title.
Kenya’s Kipkemoi was second in his marathon debut, timing 2:03:13, while another debutant, Ethiopian Tadese Takele was third in 2:13:24.
This was Kipchoge’s 16th marathon victory in 19 outings, and his time, though not the best by his standardrs, was the eighth fastest in the world.
Assefa breaks women’s world record
Meanwhile, Ethiopian Tigst Assefa produced the best performance of the morning as she shattered Brigid Kosgei’s World Record. The Ethiopian smashed off more than two minutes off the previous mark set in 2019, as she became the first woman to ever run a marathon in under two hours and 12 minutes.
The 29-year-old clocked 2:11:53, while Kenya’s Sheila Chepkirui was second in a time of 2:17:49. The Ethiopian put in a world of difference between her and the rest of the field, running a solo race to make a huge mark in her career.
“I wanted to break the world record today but I didn’t think it was with this margin. I am really excited and happy,” she said after the race.