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Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge shatters world record at Berlin marathon

Olympic champion bests previous record by 78 seconds, as he caps off his third victory in the German capital.

Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge has set a new marathon world record, shaving more than a minute off the previous best with a winning run in the German capital, Berlin - his third victory there. 

The 33-year-old Olympic champion ran a time of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds to complete the 42.2-kilometre (26.2 miles) race, successfully defending his title at the Berlin Marathon on Sunday. 

He broke the previous world record, which was also set in Berlin by fellow Kenyan runner Dennis Kimetto in 2014 by 1 minute and 18 seconds.

"I lack the words to describe this day," said a beaming Kipchoge, a former world champion over 5,000 metres. "I am really grateful and happy to smash the world record."

Kipchoge, who is widely seen as the greatest marathon runner of the modern era, has lost only once over the distance. He won the London Marathon for the third time earlier in April.

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His victories also include the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro and the 2014 Chicago Marathon. 

After going through the half-way mark in just over 61 minutes along the flat inner-city course on Sunday, Kipchoge upped the pace for a ferocious finish ahead of his countrymen Amos Kipruto and Wilson Kipsang, who finished second and third respectively. 

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta congratulated the Olympic champion on his landmark feat on Twitter.

"Congratulations @EliudKipchoge for breaking the world record at the #BerlinMarathon2018," he wrote. "I also congratulate his compatriots Amos Kipruto & Wilson Kipsang for going out valiantly to bring a 1-2-3 victory for #TeamKenya. You are our heroes. Kenya is proud of you."

"May you continue to be an inspiration to our youth through your heroic exploits in athletics," said Raila Odinga, the Kenyan opposition leader and a former prime minister.

The women's race was also won by a Kenyan, Gladys Cherono, who set a course record of 2 hours, 18 minutes and 23 seconds. 

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