AFP/ Athletics: Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto sets marathon world record

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SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)

Kenya s Dennis Kimetto set a new world record in the Berlin Marathon on Sunday, becoming the first man to break the 2hr 03min barrier with a run of 2hr 02min 57sec.

It was the second year running that the record had been broken in Berlin, the previous best being the 2:03:23 set over the same course last year by another Kenyan, Wilson Kipsang.

Kimetto, the pre-race favourite, was part of a seven-man breakaway group after 20km, which included fellow-Kenyans Emmanuel Mutai and Geoffrey Kamworor.

But Kimetto shook off Mutai four kilometres from home and crossed the line in record time over what is regarded as the world s fastest marathon course.

He said: “As the race went on, I saw I could do it, I m delighted to have won.”

Mutai finished second, also inside the previous record time with a run of 2:03:13, with Ethiopia s Abera Kuma a long way back in third in 2:05:56.

Tirfi Tsegaye led an Ethiopia 1-2 in the women s race, winning in 2:20:18 from Feyse Tadese (2:20:27).

Shalane Flanagan of the United Statges was third in 2:21:14.

Kimetto, 30, is from the Eldoret in Kenya s Rift Valley region — a part of the country that has produced some of the most dominant distance runners in history.

He was working as a farmer in an impoverished rural area before he took up running in his mid-20 s, joining the training group of Geoffrey Mutai — a Boston, Berlin and two-time New York marathon champion and the former holder of the unofficial world best, a 2:03.02 set in Boston.

His first major win came in Nairobi s Half Marathon in 2011, and he went on to finish second behind his training partner Mutai in the Berlin Marathon in 2012.

His 2:04.16 was the fastest marathon debut in history, and notable as he is one of a new breed of Kenyan road racers who do not have a track pedigree.

In 2013 he won the Tokyo Marathon, setting a course record of 2:06.50, and then the 2013 Chicago Marathon in a course record of 2:03.45 — where he also beat Emmanuel Mutai into second place.

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