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Happy for victory: Kipsang lauds Kimetto for breaking his world record in Berlin

By Xinhua | September 30th 2014
Wilson Kipsang of Kenya crosses the line to win the men's race in the 2014 London Marathon on The Mall in central London on April 13, 2014. World record-holder Wilson Kipsang won the men's London Marathon in a course record two hours, four minutes and 29 seconds as Britain's Mo Farah found life tough on his debut over the distance. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL

Former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang of Kenya watched the entire race as his compatriot Dennis Kimetto shed 26 seconds off his mark to set a higher bar in winning Sunday’s Berlin Marathon.

Kipsang, the reigning London Marathon Champion, termed Kimetto’s performance in Berlin as impressive and a big challenge to him and other Kenyan runners to try and bring the record further down.

“It was an impressive run. I am humbled and happy for him. I watched the entire race from start to the end on television and am happy that he broke the record. It helps build the sport.

“How Kimetto raced, his split times and pacing was superb and world-class. I knew the record was going by the 30th mark, because as the last pace-setter dropped off, he increased the pace again,” Kipsang said by telephone from Eldoret from where he watched the race.

Dennis Kimetto of Kenya crosses the finish line in a new world record time of 2:02:57 to win the 41st Berlin marathon, September 28, 2014. In background is the Brandenburg Gate. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke (GERMANY - Tags: SPORT ATHLETICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Kimetto had wished for a perfect weather condition and under the warm condition in the German capital, he showed little fear as he tackled the Berlin flat course and brought the clock to a stop after just two hours, two minutes and 57 seconds.

The 30-year-old Kenyan knocked 26 seconds off the record of 2:03:23 set by compatriot Wilson Kipsang in Berlin last year to become the first man to complete a marathon in under two hours, three minutes.

high confidence

“I feel good today for it is a big day for me,” Kimetto said. “The fans made me confident and I thought I could do it.”

Another Kenyan, Emmanuel Mutai, was also faster than the previous best, finishing second in 2:03:13. Abera Kuma of Ethiopia was third in 2:05:56.

“I feel good for the achievement today. It wasn’t easy. The race was a bit tough, but you know, I was fighting, and the better man won,” said Mutai, who set a world record in running 30K in 1:27:37, just beating Patrick Makau’s previous best of 1:27.38 from 2011.

Geoffrey Mutai, a training mate with Kimetto had run the fastest marathon in history in 2:03:02 in Boston in 2011, though it didn’t count as a world record because the course is considered too straight and downhill.

Now Kipsang believes he still has the energy to bring the record down. However, he will not be tackling the record when he runs in the New York City Marathon on November 2.

renew rivalry

Kipsang will be battling it out with Geoffrey Mutai, the reigning New York Marathon champion. The two last met in London in April, where Kipsang emerged victorious.

“The course in New York is hilly and the competition stiffer. We have tough challengers, but I believe I can run faster. That record can be brought down to under two hours and two minutes,” he said.

“If I get a chance, I want to return to the same course in Berlin in 2015 and make an attempt to break the record. But it is a big stride ahead of the competitions. The bar has been raised and many athletes will find it harder to beat.

“But I believe there are about five or seven Kenyan runners who can try to break it and will be successful.”

Kimetto becomes the fourth Kenyan to break the record; surprisingly all have come down on the Berlin course.

Paul Tergat was the first to shatter the record back in 2003, clocking 2:04.54. Three years later, Haile Gebreselassie of Ethiopia broke it twice, before Kenyan Patrick Makau lowered it to 2:0438 in 2011.

Kipsang left the athletics world wondering how lower the record would go in 2013 when he made the 42km in just 2:03.23. Now Kimetto has given them their answer on how fast Kenyan men are willing to run.


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