Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge has set a new world record at the Berlin Marathon on Sunday, shaving more than a minute of the previous best with a dazzling run, to land the one major running accomplishment that had eluded him.
The 33-year-old, widely seen as the greatest marathon runner of the modern era, ran a time of time of 2:01:40 on a sunny and warm autumn day along the flat inner-city course.
"I lack words to describe this day," said a beaming Kipchoge, a former world champion over 5,000 metres and
gold medallist at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. "I am really grateful, happy to smash the world record."
He has broken Dennis Kimetto's world best set of 2:02:57 in Berlin back in 2014.
Athletics - Berlin Marathon - Berlin, Germany - September 16, 2018 Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge celebrates winning the Berlin Marathon and breaking World Record REUTERS
completed their podium sweep with Amos Kipruto in second place more than five minutes later and Kipsang, a former world record holder back in 2013, in third.
Fellow Kenyan Gladys Cherono won the women's race with a course record and best time of the year of 2:18:10, leaving Ethiopians Ruti Aga and pre-race favourite Tirunesh Dibaba in second and third place respectively.
Athletics - Berlin Marathon - Berlin, Germany - September 16, 2018 Kenya's Gladys Cherono Kiprono celebrates winning the Berlin Marathon REUTERS
In 2016, Kipchoge won the marathon on 2 hours 3 minutes 5 seconds just 8 seconds off the world record held by Dennis Kimetto
He has won nine of the 10 marathons he has taken part.
Kipchoge started off with a sizzling pace and quickly shook off his biggest opponent, Wilson Kipsang, to make it a one-man race.
Athletics - Berlin Marathon - Berlin, Germany - September 16, 2018 Kenya's Amos Kipruto celebrates finishing second in the Berlin Marathon REUTERS
With weather conditions perfect and virtually no wind, 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 as Kipchoge dipped well below world-record time by the halfway mark.
But even after the last pacemaker 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, with thousands of
Berliners lining the streets and firing him on.