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Berlin Marathon 2013 Results: Wilson Kipsang's Record Shows Kenyan's True Class

Wilson Kipsang recaptured his 2011/12 form with an impressive run in Berlin.
Wilson Kipsang recaptured his 2011/12 form with an impressive run in Berlin.Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Aidan ReynoldsContributor IIISeptember 29, 2013

Wilson Kipsang ran the 2013 Berlin Marathon in two hours, three minutes and 25 seconds, establishing a new world record in the process.

Kipsang broke the previous record—set by compatriot Patrick Makau in 2011 on the same course—by 13 seconds and proved he is back to his best.

It hasn't been the easiest of seasons for Kipsang, whose only other marathon finish of the year ended in disappointment in London.

The Kenyan finished in fifth place with a time of 2:07:47, continuing doubts about his ability to remain among the sport's true elite—doubts which began with a difficult bronze medal at the London Olympic Games. 

There was a lot of talk about the world record leading up to the Berlin event, and Kipsang fanned those flames by claiming that an attempt was definitely on.

When speaking to Yahoo! News, the 31-year-old outlined the need for teamwork: "We are really going to have to work together, but I think the world record is beatable and it's easier when you have a strong group around you."

Kipsang passed the 35-kilometre mark still 20 seconds behind Makau's time, but increased his pace around the final seven kilometres to overtake Makau and claim the record for himself.

It was an excellent performance from Kipsang that proved he is still one of the best long-distance runners alive. 

Kipsang's performance here was in stark contrast to his run at the Olympics in London last year. There, he seemed to get his timing all wrong, attempting to pull away too soon and dominate the field. As the pace became too much for him to maintain, he was overtaken and had to settle for the bronze.

Here, however, he pushed at exactly the right time, not letting it bother him that he was 20 seconds behind the record with five kilometres to go. 

Of course, on a loop circuit like Berlin, it's easier to judge the race. Kipsang knew exactly what was coming and could plan his attack. However, he still had to beat the rest of the runners.

At 35 kilometres, Kipsang moved away from Eliud Kipchoge and the belief was that the race was over. However, Kipchoge showed remarkable determination to recover and gain around 20 metres back from Kipsang.

Kipsang was too strong, though, and stretched his lead to beyond 30 seconds by the race's end.

It was a masterful performance that showed Kipsang to be anything but a spent force. He looked strong, composed and in control. Breaking the world record was just a small part of a truly impressive run. He suggested he could do it, and by proving he could he further established his continued success.

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