Wilson Kipsang lowers marathon world record in Berlin
Kenyan runner sets new mark of 2:03.23 to shave 19 seconds off previous mark
Wilson Kipsang of Kenya crosses the finish line behind a disrupter at the 40th Berlin Marathon, setting a new world record of 2:03.23. Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/Reuters
Wilson Kipsang of Kenya set a new world record as he powered to victory in Sunday’s Berlin Marathon.
Kipsang finished in a time of two hours three minutes and 23 seconds to break the previous record set by compatriot Patrick Makau in Berlin in 2011.
Makau’s time of 2hrs 3mins and 42 secs had been in Kipsang’s sights heading into the 40th staging of the marathon around the German capital and the 31-year-old delivered in style, coming home well ahead of fellow Kenyans Eliud Kipchoge (2:04.05) and Geoffrey Kipsang (2:06.26).
“I was feeling strong so I decided to push,” admitted Wilson Kipsang. “I’m very happy that I’ve won and at breaking the world record.”
Wilson Kipsang’s achievement marks the ninth time the Berlin race has been the setting for a new world record, and the London 2012 bronze medallist sees no reason why he cannot set further records in the future.
“If I prepare very well, and with the same shape (I can go faster). Today there was a lot of wind, I was really fighting,” he said.
The elite runners made the most of dry and sunny conditions to set a fast pace from the outset, and from early on it became apparent that Makau’s record was under threat.
The leaders went through halfway in 1:01.32 – Wilson Kipsang had targeted 1:01.45 prior to the race – before he, Kipchoge and Geoffrey Kipsang began to pull away.
The trio passed through 35km in 1:42.36, some 20 seconds off Makau’s 2011 pace, but Wilson Kipsang had plenty in reserve and slowly pulled clear.
He passed through the 40km mark in 1:57.12 – three seconds faster than Makau – and continued to press home his advantage over the final yards, eventually lowering the record by 15 seconds.