Another world record in Berlin
Race organisers yearned for a world record at Sunday’s Berlin Marathon, and they got what they wanted, but from an unexpected source. Instead of the record tumbling in the men’s event, the mark fell in the women’s race to Ethiopian Tigst Assefa. The 26-year-old blasted the old mark into oblivion with a time of two hours 11 minutes and 53 seconds.
The previous record was 2:14.04 by Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei in 2019.
Assefa’s winning time is the 13th world record to be set in Berlin.
“I am very happy,” said the woman who had focused on the 800m until last year. “I wanted to break the marathon world record but I couldn’t imagine that it would result in a time under 2:12.”
She was one of six women in world record pace – 1:06.20 at halfway, 21.1 kilometres, but maintained her pace best and moved away to win. The best of the rest was Kenya’s Sheila Chepkirui, who completed the journey in 2:17:49. Assefa won last year in 2:15.37, then the third fastest ever run by a woman.
Kenyan hero Eliud Kipchoge was a bit off record pace at the 21.1-kilometre mark, with his 2023 time of 1:00.21 a touch slower than his world record pace of 59 minutes 51 seconds.
Nevertheless, the 2016 and 2021 Olympic champion managed to win with the eighth-fastest clocking of all time – 2:02.42.
“I was expecting to do the same [break the record], but it did not come. That’s how sport is,” he told reporters afterwards.
Vincent Kipkemoi, also a Kenyan, was second with an impressive time of 2:03.13. That makes him the joint 11th fastest man of all time.
“I’ll put all my experience of my 21 marathons into next year in the Olympics in Paris and try to be the first to win for the third time, but I would also be happy with the podium,” Kipchoge said.