POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Sep 30, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 02:29 p.m. HST, Sep 30, 2013
BERLIN » Wilson Kipsang of Kenya did what he said he'd do, breaking the world record in style Sunday to win the 40th Berlin Marathon.
After suggesting he was in the form to challenge compatriot Patrick Makau's 2011 time set in Berlin, the 31-year-old Kipsang beat the record by 15 seconds to set a world best of 2:03:23.
"Looking at my marathon progress and career so far, I still think I have the potential to run faster. Anything under 2:03:23 would do," said Kipsang, who was just four seconds short of Makau's time in Frankfurt in 2011.
(Kipsang is the defending Honolulu Marathon champion, winning last year's race with a time of 2:12:31. He is expected to return in December to defend his title.)
It was the eighth world record in Berlin in 15 years, strengthening its reputation as the world's fastest course.
Kipsang earned $54,000 in prize money plus another $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.
"I felt strong, even though I was running much faster than in my debut in spring," Kipchoge said. "I've now run 2:04, so I think one day I could train to run the world record."
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, 10km in 29:16 and halfway in 1:01:32, faster than Makau's pace two years ago. Kipsang waited until the 35km mark to make his break, with Kipchoge fighting back briefly before the eventual winner pulled away again.
"This is a dream come true," Kipsang said. "Ten years ago, I watched (Kenya's) Paul Tergat break the world record in Berlin (in 2:04:55), and now I have achieved the dream. I felt strong, so I attacked at 35k, because the pace had become a little too slow."
Makau didn't run due to an inflammation in his left knee, while defending champ Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya is concentrating on the New York City Marathon in November.
Prerace 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.