Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum smashes marathon world record in Chicago

London Marathon winner Kiptum ran 2:00:35 to take 34 seconds off Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge’s mark from Berlin last year, as track star Sifan Hassan became the second-fastest woman in marathon history. Kelvin Kiptum broke the marathon world record in sensational fashion at the 2023 Chicago Marathon on Sunday (8 October).

Having recently told, “In the future I know I can run two hours,” the 23-year-old clocked 2:00:35 to eclipse Kipchoge’s previous mark by 34 seconds.

Within the first couple of kilometres, seven runners and a number of pacemakers had formed a lead group. And just over 5km into proceedings, only London Marathon winner Kiptum and Daniel Kibet Mateiko remained in touch with a sole pacemaker.

The pair were well outside world record pace when they reached halfway in 1:00:48, but it was not until Kiptum kicked away with 10 km to go that Kipchoge’s mark from Berlin last year came back into view.

A blistering 5 km of 13:51 from 30-35 km suddenly put Kiptum on track to go under 2:01, and he continued to stride on at the front. Kibet dropped out in the latter stages, but Kiptum showed no sign of weakening and ran the second half-marathon in 59:47 for a rare negative split.

“I feel so happy. I was prepared. I knew I was coming for a course record, but fortunately [it was] a world record,” Kiptum said in a post-race interview. “A world record was not in my mind today, but I knew one time, one day I’d be a world record holder.”

Last year’s winner Benson Kipruto was second in 2:04:02 with Belgium’s Bashir Abdi 30 seconds further back in third.

Sifan Hassan sets course record to stay perfect in marathons

Sifan Hassan emulated Kiptum in repeating her London success in the women’s race in 2:13:44, the second-fastest time in history.

Hassan and two-time reigning champion Ruth Chepngetich completed the first 10 km in 31:05, 40 seconds quicker than Tigst Assefa when she set her world record in Berlin a fortnight ago.

With three male pacemakers for company, the pair continued to set scorching splits and go further clear of the rest of the field.

By 20 km, Hassan – who won two medals at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest six weeks ago – had dropped back from Chepngetich who reached halfway in 1:05:42, at least 45 seconds inside world record pace.

But just as she did in her winning debut in London, the Dutchwoman recovered from having looked in trouble and – just after the 25km mark – started to move away from her Kenyan rival.

While she ended up almost two minutes outside Assefa’s world record time, Hassan still managed to break the course record and make it two wins from two marathons. Afterwards, the 30-year-old said she felt the early pace was “too hard”.

When asked how she had trained differently from ahead of her debut in London, Hassan replied, “I’m very happy about my training. I don’t know if six weeks was enough. I felt a little cold today, and I still ran an amazing time. It’s incredible.”

On Paris 2024, where she could defend her 5000m and 10,000m Olympic titles, she told, “It was so painful. In the final 7 km, I was like, ‘I’m not going to marathon again.’ Let me recover and I’ll decide what to do. My hip is really in pain. I was so suffering in the last 5 km that I’m not going to say about the Olympics. I just have to recover, and I’m very happy I won. I’m very grateful I ran this time, but I’m still in pain.”

Chepngetich was almost two minutes back in second, with Ethiopia’s Megertu Alemu rounding out the podium.

Source: Olympics

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