BERLIN, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge secured his fifth Berlin Marathon victory with a time of 2:02:42 on Sunday, but couldn't surpass his own record. Meanwhile, Ethiopia's Tigist Assefa set a new women's record by more than two minutes, finishing in 2:11:53.
Kipchoge, who set the previous record at 2:01:09 last year, started strong. The 38-year-old two-time Olympic champion aimed to break his own mark, but after the 20-kilometer point, he couldn't maintain the pace despite favorable weather.
Kenya's Vincent Kipkemoi closed the gap on Kipchoge, but the world record holder held onto his 29-second lead to the finish. Kipkemoi, in his debut marathon, finished second with a time of 2:03:13, followed by Ethiopia's Tadese Takele at 2:03:24.
"I am really happy with the victory. I had some pressure in the closing stages. I was expecting to break my world record. I have won but I didn't beat the record, so this is a learning lesson for me. I will use all my experience for Olympic Games in Paris," said Kipchoge.
In the women's race, Assefa led from the outset, benefiting from the late summer conditions. With her pacemakers, she steadily increased her lead and finished with a time of 2:11:53, breaking Brigid Kosgei's 2019 record of 2:14:04 set at the Chicago Marathon. This win marks Assefa's second consecutive Berlin Marathon victory.
"I really wanted to break the world record. I didn't imagine and expect to break the record in this time. But of course, it is all hard work," said Assefa.