KENYA’S Dennis Kimetto delivered on his promise to attack the world record by assuming the mantle of the fastest marathon runner on the planet during the 41st edition of the Berlin spectacle yesterday.
Pre-race favourite Kimetto became the first competitor to post a time under two hours and three minutes after forming part of a seven-man breakaway group and ultimately shaking off the challenge of compatriot Emmanuel Mutai to finish in 2:02:57.
The 30-year-old shaved 26 seconds off the previous record set on the notoriously quick Berlin course 12 months ago by fellow Kenyan William Kipsang who clocked 2:03:23, with second-placed Mutai’s time of 2:03:13 also inside the previous best time as Ethiopia’s Abera Kuma finished some way back in third.
Kimetto, who won equivalent races in Tokyo and Boston during 2013, had declared his intention to push for a new world record in the build up to the race should conditions allow and ran the final 13.1 miles in 1:01:12, admitting he knew a place in marathon history beckoned in the latter stages.
“I feel really good because I won a very tough race,” said Kimetto. “I felt good from the start and in the last five kilometres I felt I could break the record.”