Super Eliud wins Berlin Marathon, misses record
Kenya’s Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge on Sunday underlined his status as the world’s best long-distance runner by winning the Berlin Marathon on Sunday, but missed the world record.
Kipchoge clocked two hours, three minutes 34 seconds after holding off the challenge of Ethiopia’s Guye Adole, who finished 13 seconds back on his debut at the distance (42.195km).
Ethiopian Guye Adola settled for the second place in 2 hours 3minutes and 46 seconds, making it the fastest debutant time on a record eligible course.
Felix Kandie came third in 2 hours 6 minutes 13 seconds followed closely by Vincent Kipruto who settled for fourth place a second behind him.
London Olympic silver medalist and former champion Wilson Kipsang failed to finish the race dropping out at the 30km mark.
There was drama in the men’s race when the race got tougher as the pace increased as Kipchoge, track legend and defending champion Kennisa Bekele and Wilson Kipsang chased Dennis Kimetto’s World Record (WR) time of 2:02.57.
“This is one of the toughest races I have ever run. It rained heavily and the road was very slippery, which affected the muscles. I’m happy to win in these conditions though in my mind I was still aiming for the World Record,” ecsatatic Kipchoge said shortly after his victory.
“ All I can say is that this is sport and tomorrow is another day. I still have a world record in my legs,” Kipchoge who missed the WR by eight seconds last year during the London Marathon,said.
The trio started the race on a very fast pace despite the harsh weather conditions. At the five kilometre mark, Kipchoge crossed the marker in 14:28 minutes with an anticipated finish of 2:02:00 finish as Kipsang and Bekele chased him.
By the time they reached the 15 km mark, Kipchoge appeared more determined as they made it through in 43:44, though they fell five seconds behind the WR as Kipsang, Kipruto and Bekele kept close tabs. By the 20km mark, Kipchoge led Dola, Kipsang and Bekele to cross in 58:18 two seconds behind the WR time.
As they hit the 30km mark, the race had narrowed down to Adola, Kipsang and Kipchoge.
As the race neared the end, Adola increased his speed challenging the experienced Kipchoge who has lost one out of the eight races he has competed at the front.
In the ladies category, Gladys Cherono led from gun to tape crossing the line in 2:20:23, ahead of Ethiopia’s Ruti Aga and compatriot Valary Aiyabei.
Cherono the IAAF World Half Marathon champion could hardly hide her excitement after reclaiming her 2015 title.
She said, “It was tough due to the rains . I tried to push alone. I’m happy with my victory after being out of the competition for about two years. If it were not for the weather conditions I could have lowered my personal best and set a new course record,” said Cherono, the Moscow World Championships 10,000m silver medalist.
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