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Kenyan Dennis Kimetto breaks world record in Berlin

Dennis Kimetto stormed to a world record at the BIG 25 Berlin: Kenya’s 28 year-old newcomer crossed the finish line of the traditional 25 k race in 1:11:18. Caroline Chepkwony (Kenya) was the women’s winner, clocking a world-class time as well with 1:22:56.

Adding all running events of the day there were a total of 10,478 athletes competing in Germany’s oldest city road race. In the history of the event, which started back in 1981 and always had the finish inside the Berlin Olympic Stadium, this was already the seventh world record.

It was only the third time Dennis Kimetto competed in a race outside Kenya. On Sunday he kept his clean sheet and additionally collected his first world record. After taking the half marathons in Ras Al Khaimah and Berlin the 25 k triumph was the biggest success of his career so far.

Dennis Kimetto

Dennis Kimetto of Kenya/Photo: BERLIN RUNS / Jürgen Engler

He improved the world record by 32 seconds. Two years ago fellow-Kenyan Sammy Kosgei had clocked 1:11:50 in the BIG 25 Berlin.

A very fast men’s race developed right from the start. A leading group of six runners passed the 5 k mark in 14:00, then reached the 10 k point after 28:21 and the 15 k point in 42:46 minutes. They were well inside the world record at these points and kept the pace high. After 17 k Ethiopians Aschalew Neguse Meketa and Belay Asefa Bedada were dropped and it became an all Kenyan affair in the leading group. Soon after that at the start of a slight uphill stretch Edwin Kiptoo lost contact as well.

Dennis Kimetto and Wilfred Kigen were running together with Jacob Kendagor. Kendagor had been entered as a pacemaker, but then decided to continue to the finish. While he could not match the pace of Kimetto and Kigen in the final stages he still ran a strong 1:11:59 for third place.

It was between 23 and 24 k when Dennis Kimetto broke away from Wilfred Kigen and then stormed into the Olympic Stadium to become a world record holder. Kigen clocked 1:11:29 for second and was also faster than the former world record holder.

Edwin Kiptoo (Kenya) took fourth with 1:12:39, followed by Aschalew Neguse Meketa (1:14:40), Moses Too (1:14:57) and Edwin Kimaiyo (both Kenya/1:15:13).

“It had been our aim to break the record. We knew throughout the race that we were on time to do it,” said Dennis Kimetto, who hopes to be selected for the Kenyan team for the World Half Marathon Championships in October.

“Next year I want to run my marathon debut. And the long term goal in the marathon will be the world record,” the 28 year-old said.

In contrast to the men’s race the women’s leading group broke up soon after the 5 k mark. From then on Caroline Chepkwony built a big lead. Guided by a pacemaker she passed the 10 k mark in a very fast 32:11 minutes.

She could not match this pace on the second half, but she was very happy with her time. 1:22:56 is the third fastest winning time in the history of the event.

The course record and world record of Mary Keitany (Kenya/1:19:53) were out of reach.

“This is a great course and it is very fast. I was around one minute faster than I had planned,” said 27 year-old Caroline Chepkwony, who was well ahead of Taemo Shumye Woldegebriel (Ethiopia/1:25:21) and France’s Christelle Daunay (1:25:27).

Consolater Yadaa (Kenya) was fourth with 1:26:13 while Gulume Tollesa Chala (Ethiopia) took fifth in 1:27:05.

To send email correction or further classifications, please shoot us an email at lcummings [at] world-track.org.

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