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Tigst Assefa smashes women’s marathon world record in Berlin

Tigst Assefa has bettered the women's marathon world record to two hours 11 minutes and 53 seconds.

Tigst Assefa has bettered the women's marathon world record to two hours 11 minutes and 53 seconds. Photo: EPA

Ethiopia’s Tigst Assefa has smashed the women’s marathon world record by more than two minutes when she clocked two hours 11 minutes 53 seconds for back-to-back Berlin victories.

Assefa improved the previous record of Kenyan Brigid Kosgei 2019 in Chicago by 2 minutes 11 seconds, and her personal best from last year’s win in the German capital by 3 minutes and 44 seconds over the 42.195 kilometres.

“I knew I wanted to go for the world record, but I never thought I would do this time,” said the 26-year-old, a former 800m runner.

With her time she set a marker for next year’s Paris Olympics while also almost certainly nailing down a spot on the Ethiopian Olympic team for 2024.

“I have set a mark now. The decision does not lie with me but with officials.”

Assefa and her pacemakers were on their own after 16 kilometres despite a super-fast pace with several runners under world record speed early.

But Assefa was the only one to keep up the pace as she eventually won by a huge margin of almost six minutes from Kenyan Sheila Chepkirui, who clocked 2:17:49.

Magdalena Shauri of Tanzania was third in 2:18:41 as eight women finished under 2 hours 20 minutess.

Her remarkable victory overshadowed men’s world record holder Eliud Kipchoge’s record fifth victory on Berlin’s quick and flat inner-city course.

The 38-year-old Kenyan, who is aiming to win his third Olympic marathon medal next year in Paris, did not come close to the record he set in Berlin last year, finishing with a time of two hours two minutes and 42 seconds.

-DPA with Reuters

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