, BERLIN, Sep 25 – Kenya’s Patrick Makau set a new world record in the marathon here on Sunday winning the Berlin Marathon in an official time of 2hr 03min 38sec.
The 26-year-old defending champion smashed the old mark of 2hr 03:59 set by Ethiopian legend Haile Gebrselassie in the same race in 2008.
Gebrselassie had a torrid time failing to finish, just as he did in New York last November, after being prominent up to the 35km mark.
Makau led home a Kenyan 1-2-3 with one of the six designated pacemakers for the event Stephen Kwelio Chemlany taking second in 2hr 07:55 while Edwin Kimaiyo was third finishing in 2hr 09:50.
Makau upped the pace dramatically at the 27km mark which left Gebrselassie trailing.
The Ethiopian, 38, was clearly in trouble and stopped briefly on the side of the route visibly exhausted before resuming but his race was up and just as in New York – where he was so disappointed he announced he was retiring – did not have the power to finish.
Gebrselassie had vowed before this race that he wanted to post a really fast time here to obtain his qualifying time for the next year’s Olympics in London.
Kenya’s Florence Kiplagat later won the women’s race in only her second race over the distance.
The 24-year-old – whose previous effort had seen her fail to finish in Boston in April – timed 2hr 19 min 43 sec.
Kiplagat came home ahead of Germany’s Irina Mikitenko, winner here in 2008, while there was an impressive return for third-placed world record holder Paula Radcliffe of England, who was running her first marathon in almost two years.