Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge has set a marathon world record, winning the Berlin race in 2 hours, 1 minute, 39 seconds on Sunday.
The Kenyan defended his title in the German capital, pulling ahead of his competitors early on amid perfect running conditions. Mild autumn temperatures and little to no wind gave the runners an advantage over last year, when rain slowed the race.
Kipchoge, 33, broke the previous world record set in Berlin by fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014 by 1 minute, 18 seconds.
“I lack words to describe this day,” Kipchoge said after becoming the first person to finish a marathon in less than 2 hours, 2 minutes.
Race organizers initially timed Kipchoge a second slower but later corrected the time.
“They say you miss two times, but you can’t miss the third time,” he said in reference to his two previous failed attempts to break the world record in Berlin.
Berlin debutant Amos Kipruto came second in 2:06:23, followed by a third Kenyan, former world-record holder Wilson Kipsang, who was 25 seconds behind.
Shogo Nakamura of Japan narrowly missed setting a national record with a time of 2:08:16.
Gladys Cherono won the women’s race in 2:18:11, a women’s record for the Berlin Marathon.
The Kenyan finished ahead of Ethiopians Ruti Aga and Tirunesh Dibaba.
Cherono, 35, said she felt confident going into the race but wasn’t sure she would beat favorite Dibaba.
The previous track record was set by Mizuki Noguchi of Japan 13 years ago.
Manuela Schar also set a world record while winning the women’s wheelchair race in 1:36:53. Canadian Brent Lakatos won the men’s wheelchair race for his first marathon victory.
A total of 44,389 runners from 133 countries took part in the race, organizers said.