Monday July 15, 2024

Assefa smashes women’s marathon world record

September 25, 2023

BERLIN: Ethiopian Tigist Assefa smashed the women´s marathon world record by more than two minutes in Berlin on Sunday as Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge won the men´s race for a record fifth time.

Assefa clocked 2hr 11min 53sec, more than two minutes ahead of the previous world mark of 2:14:04 set by Kenyan Brigid Kosgei in Chicago in 2019. "I wanted to break the marathon world record, but I couldn´t imagine that it would result in a time under 2:12," said the 29-year-old. "I am very happy."

Assefa said she held back in the first half of the race "so that I wouldn´t be tired in the second half... in the second part, I could bring a lot more power into it." She said she hoped her win would "motivate many talented women, not only those on a high level but those who may be lower down to rise up."

Assefa finished almost six minutes ahead of Kenyan Sheila Chepkirui. Tanzanian Magdalena Shauri finished third, nearly seven minutes behind Assefa. Chepkirui told reporters she "had to suffer in the second half", but said "I´m happy, I´m on the podium."

Assefa broke away early in perfect conditions in the German capital and maintained her pace to become the fourth woman to set the world record in Berlin but the first since Japan´s Naoko Takahashi in 2001.