Ethiopia’s Tigist Assefa smashed the women’s marathon world record in Berlin on Sunday, winning in 2hr 11min 53sec, more than two minutes ahead of the previous mark.
The 29-year-old Assefa bettered the record of 2:14:04 set by Kenyan Brigid Kosgei in Chicago in 2019.
Assefa crossed the line just after Kenyan men’s world record holder Eliud Kipchoge won a record fifth Berlin marathon.
She finished almost six minutes ahead of Kenyan Sheila Chepkirui (+5:56), while Tanzanian Magdalena Shauri finished third (+6:48).
Assefa broke away early in perfect conditions in the German capital and continued her stunning time to become the first woman to set the world record in Berlin since Japan’s Naoko Takahashi in 2001.
Meanwhile, Kenyan world-record holder Eliud Kipchoge won the men’s Berlin Marathon for a record fifth time, crossing the line in 2hr 02min 42sec in the German capital on Sunday.
Kipchoge finished 31sec ahead of countryman Vincent Kipkemoi with Ethiopian Tadese Takele third 42sec off the pace.
Kipchoge’s fifth win takes him past Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie’s four victories but the Kenyan finished outside his previous world record, set last year in Berlin, of 2:01:09.
Despite doubts after a surprise sixth-place at the Boston Marathon in April, 38-year-old Kipchoge came into the race confident, saying he felt he was “coming home” at a race he has won four times — and set the world record at twice.
Kipchoge and Ethiopian Derseh Kindie pulled away from the pack early, the two crossing the halfway point with a split of 60:21, slower than the Kenyan’s 2022 world-record time of 59:51.
Kindie, whose personal best stands seven minutes outside the world mark, kept pace with Kipchoge until 31 kilometres, where he suddenly fell back and appeared to drop out of the race, walking gingerly on the footpath as other runners overtook him.
Kipchoge continued to maintain his pace and crossed the line well clear of other runners for a record fifth win.