Tigst Assefa of Ethiopia broke the women’s marathon world record on Sunday in Berlin, shaving more than two minutes off the old mark to finish in an official time of two hours, 11 minutes, and 53 seconds.
Assefa, who had previously broken the track record with a personal best last year, sprinted away quickly and steadily beat the previous mark of two hours, 14 minutes, and four seconds held by Kenyan Brigid Kosgei in 2019.
Surprisingly, her splits accelerated beyond the halfway point.
The 26-year-old, a former 800-meter runner, stated, “I knew I wanted to go for the world record but I never thought I would do this time.” “It was the end result of hard work.”
Her time served as a benchmark for the Olympics in Paris the following year and virtually probably secured an Ethiopian Olympic team spot for 2024.
“I’ve already made a mark. The decision is not up to me but to the authorities. The National Committee will decide whether to include me on the team.
On the short and flat inner-city course in Berlin, her astonishing triumph eclipsed men’s world record holder Eliud Kipchoge’s record fifth victory.
The 38-year-old Kenyan finished in two hours, two minutes, and 42 seconds, falling short of the record he established in Berlin last year. He is seeking to win his third Olympic marathon medal next year in Paris.
Kipchoge says, “I always learn from every race and every victory.” I’m thrilled to have won in Berlin for the fifth time, and I’ll use these lessons to prepare for the Olympics.
With a timing of two hours, three minutes, and 13 seconds, fellow countryman Vincent Kipkemoi came in second, and Tadese Takele from Ethiopia came in third.
Just before the race began, environmental activists who had threatened to disrupt it attempted to enter the course carrying buckets of orange paint. Still, they were promptly halted and removed by police.
Assefa, who only began competing in marathons in April of last year, immediately established her intentions with a breakneck pace of her own.
Workenesh Edesa, a fellow countryman, helped them open space from the pursuing pack, but Edesa was dropped by the 17th kilometer because he could not keep up.
At the halfway point, she was one of six women running in under an hour and 20 seconds, as the Berlin marathon lived up to its reputation as one of the fastest in the world.
She had no trouble keeping up her pace, and at 37 kilometers, she was cruising to a stunning world record. Her pace was only three seconds per kilometer behind Kipchoge’s time at the same point.
Magdalena Shauri of Tanzania finished third, nearly six minutes behind Sheila Chepkirui of Kenya.