Kenya's Kipsang sets marathon world record in Berlin
BERLIN - The Associated Press
Kenya's Wilson Kipsang crosses the finish to win the 40th edition of the Berlin Marathon in Berlin, Germany on September 29, 2013. Kenya's Kipsang breaks men's marathon world record. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALLWilson Kipsang of Kenya set a world record in winning the 40th Berlin Marathon in 2 hours, 3 minutes, 23 seconds on Sunday.
The 31-year-old Kipsang knocked 15 seconds off compatriot Patrick Makau's previous mark of 2:03:38 set in Berlin in 2011. Kipsang was just four seconds short of the record when winning in Frankfurt the same year.
It was the eighth world record in Berlin in 15 years, strengthening its reputation as the world's fastest course.
"I think I can run even faster," said Kipsang, who earned 40,000 euros ($54,000) in prize money plus another 50,000 ($68,000) for breaking the record.
Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya was second in 2:04:05, improving his personal best by a minute and a half in his second marathon, while Kenya's Geoffrey Kipsang - no relation to Wilson - was third in 2:06.26.
The three made a fast start behind Kenyan pacemakers Philemon Rono, Philemon Yator and Edwin Kiptoo, a training partner of Wilson Kipsang. They reached the 5km mark in 14:33 and 10km in 29:16. Kipsang waited until the 35km mark to make his break, with Kipchoge fighting back briefly before the eventual winner pulled away again.
Pre-race favorite Florence Kiplagat of Kenya won the women's race in 2:21:13, a minute and a half slower than her personal best, with compatriot Sharon Cherop second in 2:22:28.
Germany's Irina Mikitenko finished third and set a new over-40 world-best of 2:24:54, almost a minute quicker than the previous mark.
"I'm already 41 but that doesn't mean anything," said Mikitenko. "I feel like I'm 20 with 20 years' experience."
Conditions were cool, but dry and sunny, with only a light breeze.
The race was started by four-time winner Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia, who twice set the world record in Berlin.
All eight runners who previously set world records in Berlin were on hand to wave 41,120 runners from 119 nations off at the start.
A 71-year-old man died after collapsing during the inline skating competition on Saturday.
For the first time, a fence was erected around the Tiergarten city park amid increased security in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing in April, when three people died and about 260 were injured.