Ethiopian Athlete Assefa Shatters Women’s Marathon World Record

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Ethiopian athlete Tigst Assefa shattered the women’s marathon world record at the Berlin Marathon on Sunday, lopping off more than two minutes from the previous best to clock an official time of two hours 11 minutes and 53 seconds.

Assefa, who had set a course record with a Personal Best last year, set a blistering early pace, gradually shaking off any competition to pulverise Kenyan Brigid Kosgei’s record of two hours 14 minutes and four seconds set in 2019.

“I knew I wanted to go for the world record but I never thought I would do this time,” said the 26-year-old, a former 800-metre runner. “It was the result of hard work.”

With her time she set a marker for next year’s Paris Olympics, while also almost certainly nailing down a spot on the Ethiopian Olympic team for 2024.

“I have set a mark now. The decision does not lie with me but with officials. It is up to the National Committee to select me for the team.”

Eliud Kipchoge

Assefa’s remarkable victory overshadowed men’s world record holder Eliud Kipchoge’s record fifth victory on Berlin’s quick and flat inner-city course.

Eliud Kipchoge

The 38-year-old Kenyan, who is aiming to win his third Olympic marathon medal next year in Paris, did not come close to the record he set in Berlin last year, finishing with a time of two hours two minutes 42 seconds.

“I always learn from every race and every victory,” Kipchoge said. “I’m very happy to win for the fifth time in Berlin and I shall use these lessons in my preparation for the Olympics.”

Compatriot Vincent Kipkemoi was second, with a time of two hours three minutes 13 seconds and Ethiopia’s Tadese Takele third.

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