Proud Kenyans hail Eliud Kipchoge’s new marathon world record

Two hours, one minute and 39 seconds.

That’s how long, or little, it took Kenyan superstar runner Eliud Kipchoge to cover the 42.2km of the Berlin Marathon – and smash the world record in the process by a staggering 78 seconds.

Unsurprisingly, the news travelled around the globe at lightning speed, including in Kenya and the diaspora where jubilant citizens, celebrities and leaders took to Twitter to hail their sporting hero and celebrate his remarkable feat.

Kipchoge, 33, is regarded as the greatest marathon runner of the modern era.

He burst onto the international sporting scene at the age of 18, winning the U20 race at the World Cross Country Championships in 2003.

In 2012, he started his marathon career with a victory in Germany’s Hamburg. The former 5,000-meter race world champion has won 11 of the 12 marathons he has run, including in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Kipchoge’s feat, his third win in Berlin, beats the previous world record set by fellow Kenyan runner Dennis Kimetto in 2014.

His only marathon defeat so far was also in Berlin in 2013, when he was defeated by former world record holder and fellow Kenyan, Wilson Kipsang.

Kipchoge’s run on Sunday was the biggest improvement on the marathon mark since Australian Derek Clayton took almost two and a half minutes off the record in 1967.

A proud Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta congratulated Kipchoge, and his fellow countrymen – second-placed Amos Kipruto and third-placed Wilson Kipsang – as the East African trio made a podium sweep.

“Congratulations Eliud Kipchoge for breaking the world record at the Berlin marathon 2018. 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,” Kenyatta wrote on Twitter.

Many Kenyans saw  Kipchoge’s victory as a temporary relief from the problems the country has been facing recently.

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