Berlin - Kenya's Dennis Kimetto smashed the marathon world record in Berlin on Sunday, winning the race in a time of two hours, two minutes and 57 seconds after setting a scintillating pace from the start to shave 26 seconds off the previous best.
Kimetto dazzled hundreds of thousands of spectators along the inner-city course with his quick and seemingly effortless running style that saw off any challenge during the race.
The 30-year-old pre-race favourite broke away in a seven-man group, including fellow Kenyans Emmanuel Mutai and Geoffrey Kamworor, after 20km on a sunny and cool Berlin morning.
With four km remaining, he pulled clear from Mutai after the pair had shaken off Kamworor a little earlier to become the first man to complete the race in less than two hours and three minutes.
Kimetto, whose time also eclipsed the 2:03:02 clocked by Geoffrey Mutai in 2011 on Boston's record-ineligible point-to-point course, clocked under three minutes for all but three kms with an average of two minutes and 55 seconds per km in a sensational race.
His second half was about 30 seconds faster than the first.
This is the second consecutive world record along Berlin's flat race, considered the world's fastest marathon course, after Kenyan Wilson Kipsang's previous world best of 2:03:23 was set in the German capital last year.
"I feel good because I won a very tough race," the soft-spoken Kimetto told reporters.
"I felt good from the start and in the last five kilometres I felt I could do it (break the record)."
Tirfi Tsegaye won the women's race with a time of 2:20:18, nine seconds ahead of fellow Ethiopian Feyse Tadese who was second, followed by American Shalane Flanagan.