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Kosgei, Keitany shatter 25Km World records in Berlin

Published by
ross   May 9th 2010, 7:17pm



Samuel Kosgei and Mary Keitany

make it a sensational and unique

double world record race at the BIG 25 Berlin


Kenyans Samuel Kosgei and Mary Keitany crowned the jubilee edition of the BIG 25 Berlin with unique double world record performances. Never before have both world records been broken in one road race. While Sammy Kosgei stormed into the finish inside the Berlin Olympic Stadium with a time of 1:11:50, Mary Keitany clocked a sensational 1:19:53. She became the first female runner to dip under 1:20 in a 25 k race. Both records were smashed in the BIG 25 Berlin race. Organisers of BERLIN RUNS registered 10,114 runners from 47 nations at the 30th edition of the race.


Elite runners took advantage of perfect conditions for running on Sunday morning. While temperatures were between 12 and 14° Celsius there was practically no wind at all and the sky was overcast. A big leading group of more than 20 African runners surged through the 5 k point in 14:29 minutes. While the first five kilometres after the start at the Olympic Stadium are slightly downhill pacemakers made sure that the pace kept high on the flat parts in the city centre. The 10 k point was reached in 29:01, followed by a very fast 5 k section of 14:04 (15 k split: 43:05). In this part of the race the group fell apart and finally a duel between Samuel Kosgei and Gilbert Kirwa (Kenya), the winner of the Frankfurt Marathon in 2009, developed. At first the defending champion Matthew Koech (Kenya) ran together with the two, but he soon dropped back.


The pace kept high although the section between 18 and 21 k is slightly uphill. Samuel Kosgei – he was Haile Gebrselassie’s pacemaker in last year’s Berlin Marathon and was next to the Ethiopian when the 30 k world record of 1:27:49 was established in that race – and Gilbert Kirwa had reached the 20 k mark in 57:22 and then they achieved a remarkable half marathon split time of 60:42. In the final two kilometres 24 year-old Samuel Kosgei opened a decisive gap. He finally improved the world record set by Paul Kosgei (Kenya) in this race in 2004 (1:12:45) by almost one minute. Gilbert Kirwa took second and he also achieved a sub 1:12 time with 1:11:58. Terefe Maregu (Ethiopia) was third in 1:13:16.


Altogether seven runners finished inside 1:14. Among them was the former world record holder Paul Kosgei. He had been in the leading group until close to the 15 k mark and finally finished in sixth position with 1:13:48.


„It was my aim to run 1:12 here today. But I did not think that I could win this and I also did not expect to run sub 1:12,” said Samuel Kosgei. “My next goal is running my first marathon. I would like to come back to Berlin for that in September. If Haile Gebrselassie should return I would look forward to this. And it would be my goal to beat him.”


Right from the start Mary Keitany ran her own race at the front, supported by two pacemakers. With an even pace the 28 year-old World Half Marathon Champion was on course for a time of around 1:20 throughout the race. She reached the 10 k mark in 31:58 minutes – a time which would be good enough to win almost all of Germany’s 10 k races – and then clocked 47:58 at the 15 k point. Even when the course was going up on the way back to the Olympic Stadium Mary Keitany kept her rhythm and speed perfectly. Finally clocking 1:19:53 she smashed the world record set by Japan’s Mizuki Noguchi during the Berlin Marathon 2005 (1:22:13).


Mary Keitany was almost five minutes ahead of Alice Timbilili (1:24:38), who was second. Pasalia Kipkoech (both Kenya/1:26:47), who had recently won the Berlin Half Marathon, took third. „I have prepared long and intensively for this race and I had expected to break the world record. But I did not expect to break it by such a margin and to run sub 1:20,” said Mary Keitany, who intends to run her marathon debut in autumn.


„Two world records in one race and additionally a time barrier broken by Mary Keitany – you really can not have a better jubilee race,“ said a thrilled Christoph Kopp, who is the elite athletes’ manager for the BIG 25 Berlin.


Results, Men:

1. Samuel Kosgei                KEN               1:11:50

2. Gilbert Kirwa                    KEN               1:11:58

3. Terefe Maregu                 ETH                1:13:16

4. Erick Rotich                      KEN               1:13:24

5. Matthew Koech                KEN               1:13:45

6. Paul Kosgei                      KEN               1:13:48

7. Felix Keny                         KEN               1:13:53

8. Allan Kiprono                    KEN               1:14:15

9. Joel Kimurer                     KEN               1:14:34

10. Lusapho April                 RSA               1:15:02



1. Mary Keitany                    KEN               1:19:53

2. Alice Timbilili                    KEN               1:24:38

3. Pasalia Kipkoech             KEN               1:26:47

4. Eunice Kales                    KEN               1:29:05

5. Christine Chepkemei      KEN               1:29:30



More information is available at: www.berlin-runs.com


Please note:

You may use the attached photos showing Samuel Kosgei and Mary Keitany finishing inside the Olympic Stadium for online purposes. Photo credit essential: Victah Sailer / photorun.net


The title sponsor BIG is a German online national health service company (BIG direkt gesund). More information is available at: www.big-direkt.de

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