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Makau breaks record in Berlin

10 October 2011, 16:16

Kenya's Patrick Makau set a new world record in the marathon here on Sunday 24 October, winning the Berlin Marathon in an official time of 2hr 03min 38sec.

The 26-year-old defending champion smashed the old mark of 2hr 03:59 set by Ethiopian legend Haile Gebrselassie in the same race in 2008.

Gebrselassie had a torrid time - failing to finish - just as he did in New York last November, after being prominent up to the 35km mark.

Makau led home a Kenyan 1-2-3 with one of the six designated pacemakers for the event Stephen Kwelio Chemlany taking second in 2hr 07:55 while Edwin Kimaiyo was third finishing in 2hr 09:50.

Makau - a two-time half marathon world silver medalist - said he hadn't expected to set a new world record when he woke up.

"I didn't feel very well when I woke up this morning," said Makau, who showed he was a force in the event last year with two victories, here and in Rotterdam.

"But once the race got underway everything went well.

"At the 25km mark, I felt then I could break the world record.

"It is the most beautiful day of my career and, if God so wishes it, I will be Olympic champion next year."

Makau upped the pace dramatically at the 27km mark which left Gebrselassie trailing.

The Ethiopian, 38, was clearly in trouble and stopped briefly on the side of the route visibly exhausted before resuming but his race was up and just as in New York - where he was so disappointed he announced he was retiring - did not have the power to finish.

Gebrselassie had vowed before this race that he wanted to post a really fast time here to obtain his qualifying time for the next year's Olympics in London.

Kenya's Florence Kiplagat later won the women's race in only her second race over the distance.

The 24-year-old - whose previous effort had seen her fail to finish in Boston in April - timed 2hr 19 min 43 sec.

Kiplagat came home ahead of Germany's Irina Mikitenko, winner here in 2008, while there was an impressive return for third-placed world record holder Paula Radcliffe of England, who was running her first marathon in almost two years.

Radcliffe, who will be 38 in November, had mixed emotions after the race.

"I am happy and disappointed at the same time after this third place," said Radcliffe, whose sole global title came in this event at the 2005 world championships.

"But I have at least achieved the qualifying time for the London Olympics which is the essential thing," added Radcliffe, who will be seeking to make it third time lucky at the Olympic marathon after failing to finish in 2004 and finishing 23rd in Beijing four years later.

Berlin Marathon results on Sunday 24 September:


1. Patrick Makau (KEN) 2hr 03min 38sec (world record), 2. Stephen Kwelio Chemlany (KEN) 2hr 07:55, 3. Edwin Kimaiyo (KEN) 2hr 09:50, 4. Felix Limo (KEN) 2hr 10:38, 5. Scott Overall (GBR) 2hr 10:55, 6. Riccardo Serrano (ESP) 2hr 13:32, 7. Pedro Nimo (ESP) 2hr 13:34, 8. Simon Munyutu (FRA) 2hr 14:20, 9. Driss El Himer (FRA) 2hr 14:46, 10. Hendrick Ramalaa (RSA) 2hr 16:00.


1. Florence Kiplagat (KEN) 2hr 19min 44sec, 2. Irina Mikitenko (GER) 2hr 22:18, 3. Paula Radcliffe (GBR) 2hr 23:46, 4. Atsede Habtamu (ETH) 2hr 24:25, 5. Tatyana Petrova (RUS) 2hr 25:01.


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