Eliud Kipchoge, Kenya’s 2016 Olympic gold medalist, set a world record in the marathon Sunday, becoming the first person to finish a marathon in less than two hours and two minutes and lowering the event’s best mark by 78 seconds in Berlin.
“I lack words to describe this day,” Kipchoge said (via the Associated Press) of a time that sounds more like a commute than an athlete feat. His unofficial time was 2 hours, 1 minute and 40 seconds, but that later was lowered by one second.
Kipchoge, 33, broke the record set in 2014 by Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto by 1 minute, 18 seconds.
“They say you miss two times but you can’t miss the third time,” he said, breaking the mark in his latest attempt in Berlin. This time, conditions were ideal with mild temperatures and very little wind.
“It was hard,” he admitted (via the Guardian). “I was prepared to run my own race early so I wasn’t surprised to be alone. I have trained so well for this race and have full trust in the programs of my coach. I am just so incredibly happy to have finally run the world record as I never stopped having belief in myself.”
Amos Kipruto of Kenya was second in 2:06:23 with Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang, the former world record holder, third in 2:06:48.
The women’s winner was Kenya’s Gladys Cherono, who set a women’s record for the Berlin race with a time of 2:18:11. Ethiopia’s Rutia Aga was second and Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba was third.
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