Nairobi — He promised it and boy! Did he deliver! Wilson Kipsang is the new world marathon record holder after tearing apart the Berlin Marathon course to stop the clock at the staggering 2:03:23 that pending IAAF ratification, is the standard bearer over the distance.
Watching at the finish was compatriot Patrick Makau, whose 2:03:38 benchmark at the same race two years ago was hammered by a furious assault over the last seven kilometres 2012 London champion.
“I was inspired by Paul Tergat when he broke the world record here ten years ago. I had prepared very well, in great shape but today, I fought with a lot of wind but I believe I can run faster in future,” Kipsang said.
By delivering the world record, Kipsang atoned for missing at least matching the honour when he ran 2:03:42 in Frankfurt, three weeks after Makau broke the world record as well as missing the 2:04:40 London course record last year, ironically, by four seconds.
To share the podium on the momentous moment in distance running history, former world marathon 5000m titleholder, Eliud Kipchoge, was rewarded with a huge 2:04:05 personal best for second as the 2011 World Cross junior winner, Geoffrey Kipsang (2:06:26) took credible third on his full marathon debut.
The Kenyan cheer was complete in the corresponding women’s race when Florence Kiplagat reclaimed the Berlin crown in 2:21:13 she won in 2011 to lead compatriot and 2012 Boston Marathon champion, Sharon Cherop (2:22:28) to the 1-2.
Home favourite and German record holder, Irina Mikitenko, had much to celebrate after breaking the Masters (Over 40s) world record when she finished third in 2:24:54.
But the day belonged to the Kenya Police officer, Kipsang, who unshackled himself from Kipchoge and his namesake at the 35km mark and steadily, shifted through the gears with the crowd and the official timing vehicle urging him on.
With a radiant smile with Makau and Tergat at the finish, the baton was passed to the man who started his career late after serving as a Police constable in many outposts while sparing time and his meagre resources to train.
Makau, who was lined up for the race, was forced to watch from the sidelines after injuring his knee three weeks to the race.
Below is a link where he shared how he plotted to attack the world record a week before travelling to Berlin.
1. Wilson Kipsang (KEN) 2:03.23 (new world record)
2. Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) 2:04.05
3. Geoffrey Kipsang (KEN) 2:06.26
4. Stephen Kwelio Chemlany (KEN) 2:07.44
5. Maswai Kiptanui (KEN) 2:08.52
6. Marilson dos Santos (BRA) 2:09.24
7. Suehiro Ishikawa (JAP) 2:10.24
8. Koji Kobayashi (JAP) 2:11.31
9. Silva Rui (POR) 2:12.16
10. Sisay Jisa (ETH) 2:12.17
1. Florence Kiplagat (KEN) 2:21.13
2. Sharon Cherop (KEN) 2:22.28
3. Irina Mikitenko (GER) 2:24:54
4. Helah Kiprop (KEN) 2:28.02
5. Desiree Davila (USA) 2:29.15