APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) Tigst Assefa smashed the women’s marathon world record in Berlin on Sunday, clocking 2 hours, 11 minutes and 53 seconds.
Tigst took more than two minutes off the women’s world record of 2:14:04, which was set by Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei at the 2019 Chicago Marathon.
A large pack of the leading contenders ran together through the early stages of the women’s race, passing through 5km in 15:58.
Thirteen women were still in contact with the lead as they passed through 10km at 31:45.
Sensing that most of her rivals were already starting to fade, Tigst took greater command of the race by throwing in a 2:59 split for the 16th kilometer.
By the time she reached 17km, Tigst had dropped Workenesh Edesa, the last of her opponents, and had just a few male pacemakers for company.
She reached the halfway point in 1:06:20, putting her on track to smash the world record by more than a minute.
The next kilometer was covered in 2:48, the fastest of the race up to that point, extending her advantage over Workenesh and Kenya’s Sheila Chepkirui.
Spurred on by the knowledge that the world record was in the bag, Tigist picked up her pace in the closing kilometers and charged through the finish line in 2:11:53.
Chepkirui held on to second place in 2:17:49, while Tanzania’s Magdalena Shauri was third place in 2:18:41.
Meanwhile, long-distance running legend Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge notched up a record fifth BMW Berlin Marathon victory in men’s road race.
Kipchoge won by 31 seconds in 2:02:42, the fifth-fastest time of his illustrious career.
His compatriot Vincent Kipkemoi finished second in 2:03:13 and Ethiopia’s Tadese Takele was third in 2:03:24.
A record nine men finished inside 2:05 and 15 finished inside 2:06, making it the deepest men’s marathon in history.