Kipsang smashes marathon record in Berlin win

Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:56pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Kenyan Wilson Kipsang made the most of the notoriously flat and fast Berlin streets to smash the marathon world record by 15 seconds en route to taking the title on Sunday.

The 31-year-old Kipsang clocked a time of two hours, three minutes and 23 seconds to better the previous mark set two years ago in the same race by compatriot Patrick Makau, who was forced to pull out through injury two weeks ago.

Kipsang, who won the 2012 London Marathon and also took bronze at the Olympics, produced a storming finish to leave compatriot Eliud Kipchoge a distant second almost a minute behind.

"I'm very happy that I have won and broken the world record," Kipsang said in a televised interview after the race.

"I was really inspired by Paul Tergat when he broke the world record here 10 years ago and I'm very happy that I was in a position to break the record on the same course."

Kenyan Tergat's time of 2:04:55 at the 2003 Berlin Marathon was the first to be ratified as a world record by governing body the IAAF, who previously recognized fastest marathon times as world bests.

Makau's mark had looked safe as the leading bunch dropped more than 20 seconds off the pace after 30 kilometers but they clawed back the deficit over the next five kilometers.

With the group whittled down to three runners, Kipsang made his decisive move at the 37 km mark and held off former 5,000 meters world champion Kipchoge before pulling well clear in the final two kilometers on the fastest of the big city courses.

Kipchoge's time of 2:04:05 was a personal best with Geoffrey Kipsang third in 2:06:26.   Continued...

Wilson Kipsang of Kenya poses during the victory ceremony after winning the 40th Berlin marathon, September 29, 2013. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz