Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge only needed 2 hours 1 minute and 39 seconds to complete the classic marathon distance of 42.195 kilometres on September 16th. In that time he beat the previous fastest record set by fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014, also in Berlin in 2 hours 2 minutes, 57 seconds.
Organisers of the Berlin marathon initially put Kipchoge's time at 2 hours, 1 minute, 40 seconds, but later reduced it by one second, AP reported. For years Kipchoge has been the one to beat in Marathon running. In 2016 he won gold at the Olympics in Rio and earlier this year he ha already managed to secure the top spot in the London Marathon for the third consecutive time.
Straight from the start, the 33-year-old set a high speed. 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. In perfect conditions the Kenyan pulled ahead early on. After five kilometres he had already earned an advantage of nine seconds over his closest pursuer at the time, Kipsang.
The half-marathon mark was passed by Kipchoge at 61 minutes and 6 seconds, 39 seconds faster than Kimetto’s previous record. While Kipchonge managed to keep his pace, Kipsang fell back slightly and finished in third place.
Kipchoge was reported to receive a victory bonus of €120,000 total. €50,000 for the World record, €40,000 for his win and €30,000 in addition as a time bonus for staying below the 2.04 hours mark.
For the last 17 kilometres of his triumphant race, Kipchonge was completely on his own. “It was hard. But we had a plan. I trusted that,“ he said in an interview with broadcaster ARD. "I lack words to describe this day," Kipchoge continued.
Elsewhere, Kevin Mayer set a decathlon world record with a total of 9,126 points only hours later, topping a previous best of 9,045 points set by American Ashton Eaton three years ago, making it a spectacular day for track and field fans.
Competing at the Decastar event in Talence, southwestern France, world champion Mayer fell on his back in celebration after he crossed the line in the 1,500 metres, which was the last of the ten events, in 4 minutes and 36.11 seconds, a time he knew would guarantee him the record.
"I've been waiting for this moment for a long time," said Mayer, who became the first Frenchman to hold the decathlon world record. "We live for moments like this that are simply incredible. I couldn't cry. I don't have any more tears left because I was crying so much before the 1,500 meters."