Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge shattered his own marathon world record on Sunday, winning the Berlin race with a time of 2:01.09, around 30 seconds faster than his previous world best set in the German capital four years ago.
The 37-year-old, who has now won 15 of his 17 career marathons, including two Olympic triumphs and 10 major titles, was in a class of his own, setting a blistering pace along the flat, fast inner-city course from the start on an overcast day.
Only a handful of runners could keep up with Kipchoge 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 less than an hour.
Belihu finally dropped back around the 27 kilometre-mark as Kipchoge pushed on for the record.
The Kenyan, who retained his Olympic at the Tokyo Games last year, had fallen short of his world mark by just over a minute at the Tokyo Marathon in March, but he was not to be denied in Berlin.
With a final 500-metre sprint passing through the city’s iconic Brandenburg Gate just as the sun started to emerge, a beaming Kipchoge crossed the finish line to cement his status as one of the greatest runners of all time.
Fellow Kenyan Mark Korir completed a one-two finish for the African nation, four minutes and 49 seconds behind, with Ethiopian Tadu Abate third.