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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports Shorts: Kenyan Kipchoge shatters marathon world record in Berlin

Sports Shorts: Kenyan Kipchoge shatters marathon world record in Berlin

Last updated on: September 16, 2018 22:29 IST

A summary of sports events and persons who made news on Sunday

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge celebrates winning the Berlin Marathon and breaking World Record on Sunday

IMAGE: Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge celebrates winning the Berlin Marathon and breaking World Record on Sunday. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Kenya's Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge set a sensational world record over the distance on Sunday, shaving more than a minute off the previous best with a blistering run in the German capital, to land the one major running accomplishment that had eluded him.

 

The 33-year-old, widely seen as the greatest marathon runner of the modern era, ran an official time of time of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds on a sunny and warm autumn day along the flat inner-city course to beat Dennis Kimetto's world best by a minute and 18 seconds.

Kimetto's record had stood since the Kenyan set it at the same course in 2014.

"I lack words to describe this day," said a beaming Kipchoge, a former world champion over 5,000 metres and marathon gold medallist at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. "I am really grateful, happy to smash the world record."

"They say you can miss it twice but not third time. So I want to thank everyone who has helped me," Kipchoge, who last year took part in the Nike Breaking Two project, where he ran two hours and 25 seconds with the aid of "illegal" in and out pacemakers.

He started off with a sizzling pace and quickly shook off his biggest opponent, Wilson Kipsang, to make it a one-man race.

With weather conditions perfect and virtually no wind, it was clear after the opening few kilometres that Kipchoge's only opponent would be the clock and his three pacemakers were pushed to the limit to keep the tempo high as Kipchoge dipped well below world-record time by the halfway mark.

But even after the last pacemaker peeled off after 25 kilometres, Kipchoge showed no sign of slowing, passing the 30km mark in 1:26:45, with a pace of 2:52 per 1,000 metres, with thousands of Berliners lining the streets and firing him on.

Berlin has now seen the last six men's world records over the distance set on its quick course.

"It was hard. I ran my own race, I trusted my trainers, my programme and my coach. That's what pushed me in the last kilometres," Kipchoge said.

Kipchoge kept up the pace to sprint through the Brandenburg Gate and complete a world record run that cements his reputation as one of the greatest runners of all time.

Since debuting in the event in Hamburg in 2013, Kipchoge has won World Marathon Majors series runs in Chicago (2014), Berlin (2015 and 2017) and London (2015, 2016 and 2018).

Kenya completed their podium sweep with Amos Kipruto in second place more than five minutes later and Kipsang, a former world record holder back in 2013, in third.

Fellow Kenyan Gladys Cherono won the women's race with a course record and best time of the year of 2:18:10, leaving Ethiopians Ruti Aga and pre-race favourite Tirunesh Dibaba in second and third place respectively.

France's Mayer breaks world decathlon record

France’s Kevin Mayer set a new decathlon world record on Sunday when he finished with 9126 points at the Decastar event in Talence, France.

World champion and Olympic silver medalist Mayer surpassed previous holder American Ashton Eaton’s 9045 points recorded at the 2015 world championships in Beijing.

"That was an incredible display of ability! I'm super happy for @mayer_decathlon & and even more for the future of the decathlon," Eaton said on Twitter.

"Important thing to me has always been to keep pushing the limit and inspiring others to do the same. The more 9K can become commonplace the better."

Mayer made amends for missing out on the European title in Berlin last month, where he failed to register a mark in the long jump, by throwing a personal best of 71.90 metres in the javelin, Sunday’s penultimate event.

He finished the decisive 1500 metres in just outside four minutes 36 seconds, having needed to finish in 4:49 to beat the previous record.

Pegula continues Quebec win streak with upset of Kenin

American qualifier Jessica Pegula upset fifth seed Sofia Kenin 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 at Quebec City on Saturday to reach her first WTA final.

Pegula will meet eighth seed Pauline Parmentier in Sunday's final after the French player rallied past Britain's Heather Watson 5-7 6-3 7-6(5) in the other semi-final, claiming the tiebreaker by winning the last three points.

Pegula, 24, served 10 aces and broke her younger America compatriot five times.

"I've been playing a lot of tournaments lately, so I have been getting a lot of match play, and been doing pretty well, but this is probably the most amount of matches in a row," Pegula told reporters.

Pegula had already beaten Kristyna Pliskova, Ons Jabeur and second seed Petra Martic to reach the semi-final.

After missing seven months with injuries last season, she has enjoyed a much more successful 2018, reaching five semi-finals in ITF events.

"I feel pretty good physically, which has always been the number one thing," Pegula said. "Today, I wasn't that sore or anything.

"I've had some pretty good wins already, so I knew I had the chance to win the match today. I'm excited and I'm just glad I got it done."

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