Berlin, GermanyUnderscoring his stature as the finest distance runner in history, Haile Gebrselassie broke through the Marathon's 2:04 barrier with his jaw-dropping victory at the real,-Berlin Marathon today.
Gebrselassie clocked 2:03:59*, knocking a massive 27 seconds from his previous World record, set in Berlin one year ago.
“I’m so happy,” said Gebrselassie, the 35-year-old Ethiopian who has now set 27 World records or World bests. "Everything was perfect, the weather, the pacemakers.
"Two weeks ago, I had a little problem, I ran 20k 40 seconds faster than in my preparation last year. But I had some cramps, and missed a week’s training. I started again a week ago, and had some doubts today, but in the end, everything was fine. This really is my lucky city."
Kenyan James Kwambai was second with a personal best 2:05:36, with Charles Kamathi third, clocking 2:07:48.
Mikitenko joins sub-2:20 club
Irina Mikitenko of Germany ran away with the women's race, clocking 2:19:19 to become the fourth fastest woman in history.
Askale Tafa Magarsa of Ethiopia was second in 2:21:31.
* pending the usual ratification procedures