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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Kenya's Kelvin Kiptum smashes men's marathon world record

Kiptum shattered the record in Chicago on October 8, winning in two hours and 35 seconds to beat compatriot Eliud Kipchoge's previous mark by more than 30 seconds

Deutsche Welle Published 09.10.23, 10:27 AM
World record! Kelvin Kiptum crosses the line in Chicago in two hours and 35 minutes

World record! Kelvin Kiptum crosses the line in Chicago in two hours and 35 minutes Deutsche Welle

Having already smashed the London Marathon course record earlier this year, Kelvin Kiptum set a new men's marathon world record in Chicago on Sunday, breezing through the 35-kilometer mark in the Windy City before thrusting his arms in the air to cheers from the crowd down the final stretch.

Running in only his third marathon, the 23-year-old Kenyan had not originally targeted the record but said he knew that twice Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge's previous mark of 2:01:09 was within reach in the final kilometers, as he dug deep to make history.

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"I knew one day I would be a world record holder but a world record was not in my mind today," he said at the finish line. "I wasn't prepared, but I feel so happy."

Just two weeks after Ethiopia's Tigist Assefa set a new women's marathon world record time of 2:11:53 in Berlin, Kiptum broke the tape three minutes and 27 seconds ahead of compatriot Benson Kipruto, while Belgian Bashir Abdi finished third in 2:04:32.

Along with compatriot Daniel Mateiko, Kiptum broke away from the rest of the pack by the 10-kilometre mark and the pair were more than one-and-a-half-minutes ahead of the rest of the field by the halfway point.

Kiptum then made it a one-man race at 35 kilometers and decided to take advantage of Chicago's famously flat course as he shifted into another gear.

"I saw the time in front of me, I said let's try: maybe I can run under 2:00," he said before gliding over the finish line, seemingly with energy to spare.

Kenya's Kelvin Kiptum poses next to the clock marking his time after winning the 2023 Chicago Marathon

Kenya's Kelvin Kiptum poses next to the clock marking his time after winning the 2023 Chicago Marathon Deutsche Welle

Women's Chicago Marathon: second-fastest time

There was also a remarkable effort in the women's race by Dutch middle-distance runner Sifan Hassan, who thwarted Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich's bid for a third straight Chicago title in 2:13:44, the second-fastest women's marathon time ever.

Hassan picked up a pair of medals at the World Athletics Championships in August and showed no signs of fatigue in Chicago as she broke the tape one minute and 53 seconds ahead of Chepngetich.

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