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Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto has broken the marathon world record in Berlin, winning the race in a time of two hours, two minutes and 57 seconds.
The 30-year-old shook off fellow Kenyan Emmanuel Mutai with just under three miles remaining to become the first man to run a marathon in less than two hours and three minutes.
Mutai, who finished second in 2:03:13, also broke the previous record.
“I feel good because I won a very tough race,” said Kimetto.
“I felt good from the start and in the last few miles I felt I could do it and break the record.”
The previous world record had been set on the same course 12 months ago by Kimetto’s compatriot Wilson Kipsang, who ran 2:03:23.
Kimetto, who won marathons in Tokyo and Boston last year, had promised to attack the record in Berlin if conditions allowed.
And in weather perfect for long-distance running, with temperatures around eight degrees centigrade, Kimetto kept his promise, staying in the lead group throughout and sprinting to victory and a new world’s best time.
Mutai, meanwhile, believes a two-hour marathon is possible.
“From what I saw today, times are coming down and down. So if not today, then tomorrow,” the 29-year-old Kenyan said. “Maybe next time we’ll get 2:01.”
Mutai had run the fastest marathon in history in 2:03:02 in Boston in 2011, but it did not count as a world record because the course is considered too straight and downhill.
Scott Overall was the top British athlete in the men’s race, finishing 14th in 2:13:00.
Britain’s Shelly Woods won the women’s wheelchair race as she continues her preparation for November’s New York Marathon.