The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tergat betters best time

Berlin: Kenya’s Paul Tergat set a world best time for the marathon on Sunday, winning the Berlin race in an unofficial time of two hours four minutes and 55 seconds.

Tergat, 34, bettered the mark of 2:05:38 set by American Khalid Khannouchi at the London Marathon on April 14, 2002.

The Kenyan, twice Olympic silver medallist in the 10,000 metres and second in three of his previous five marathons, was finally able to shake off his reputation of nearly man with the superb run before a crowd of a million spectators.

“At last,” a breathless Tergat said after crossing the finish line ahead of Sammy Korir of Kenya, a pacemaker who nearly caught Tergat with a late spurt and finished a second behind in 2:04:56. Tergat ran the first half in 63.01 — as he had planned — before picking up the pace in the second half with consistent times of about 2:55 minutes per kilometre. “It was a great run,” he said after catching his breath. “I have been training to have this result for a long time.”

Tergat, who had finished ten seconds behind Khannouchi at the 2002 London marathon, came to Berlin intent on breaking the American’s record.

The Kenyan’s first win in six marathon starts gave him the third world record of his career, adding to his 10,000 metres track mark of 26.27.85, since broken by Haile Gebrselassie, and his current 59.17 half-marathon record.

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