Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge breaks marathon world record

Eliud Kipchoge crosses the start line

MARKUS SCHREIBER AP

Ahead of the race, Kipchoge, the defending Berlin champion, denied wanting to have a crack at fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto's world record, saying he was merely after a personal best, but he left little doubt about his intentions when the starting gun fired in ideal running conditions in Berlin.

Kipchoge ran at the front from the very first metre, and despite some turbulent times in the first third of the race when his pacers faltered, stormed home to take another win and lower the world record by a remarkable 78 seconds.

"I had a great belief that I would run a World record but I dint know I would run 2:01". But he had done most of his talking already, on the streets of the German capital, setting off with just three pacemakers for company, and going through halfway in 61 minutes and six seconds before - incredibly - speeding up to run the second half in 60:33.

"I had great belief that I could achieve this feat and running a sub 2 hours two minutes was simply incredible and I believe I can still go below that with such good conditions", said Kipchoge, adding that he could have posted better times if he went with the pacesetters up to 30km mark.

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"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.

He has broken Dennis Kimetto's world best set of 2:02:57 in Berlin back in 2014.

Gladys Cherono won the women's race in 2:18:11, a women's record for the Berlin Marathon.

And on a pleasant autumn day in Berlin the 33-year-old lived up to that billing - and more - as he proved beyond doubt that he is the greatest long distance runner in history by obliterating the marathon world record.

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He kept injecting the pace and by the 30km mark, he was a massive 52 seconds inside World Record pace having covered the distance in a time of 1:26:45.

Things looked to have fallen apart for Kipchoge's world record hopes after 15km. Previous year he set the fastest ever time over the marathon distance on the Monza race track in Italy for Nike's Breaking2 project. "That's what I believed (breaking World Record) and I am happy for it".

On the roads he has been nearly unstoppable, winning 10 of 11 races over 26.2 miles, including Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro and three London marathon titles. Sunday's marathon marked the first time in history that three women have broken 2:19 in the same race.

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