BERLIN (AP) – Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge set a marathon world record, winning the Berlin race in 2 hours, 1 minute, 39 seconds on Sunday.
Organizers initially put Kipchoge’s time at 2 hours, 1 minute, 40 seconds, but later reduced it by one second.
The 33-year-old broke the previous world record set in Berlin by fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014 by 1 minute and 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 and 2 minutes.
“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.
The Kenyan defended his 2017 title in the German capital, pulling ahead of other runners early on amid perfect conditions. Mild temperatures and little to no wind gave the runners of the 45th Berlin marathon an advantage over last year, when rain slowed the race.
Berlin debutant Amos Kipruto came second in 2 hours, 6 minutes, 23 seconds, followed by a third Kenyan, former world-record holder Wilson Kipsang, with 2 hours, 6 minutes, 48 seconds.
Shogo Nakamura of Japan narrowly missed setting a new national record with a time of 2 hours, 8 minutes, 16 seconds.
Gladys Cherono won the women’s race in 2 hours, 18 minutes, 11 seconds, a women’s record for the Berlin marathon. The previous track record was set by Mizuki Noguchi of Japan 13 years ago.
The 35-year-old Kenyan, who has won twice before in Berlin, said she felt confident going into the race but wasn’t sure she would beat favorite Tirunesh Dibaba.
Dibaba came third behind fellow Ethiopian Rutia Aga.
A total of 44,389 runners from 133 countries took part in the race, organizers said.
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