Makau sets new world record


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The Independent Online

Kenya's Patrick Makau today smashed the world record as he successfully defended his Berlin marathon title, with former record holder Haile Gebrselassie dramatically dropping out of the race.

Makau clocked a stunning time of two hours three minutes 38 seconds, 21 seconds quicker than the time set by Gebrselassie over the same course in 2008.

Britain's Scott Overall was a surprise fifth on his marathon debut and inside the Olympic qualifying time, with Paula Radcliffe also comfortably securing her place in London next year when finishing third in the women's race.

Makau had been under world record pace throughout the race and never faded, even after pulling away from the last remaining pacemaker after 30 kilometres.

"I'm very happy," said the 26-year-old, who had to hurdle an advertising hoarding just before the line. "I was expecting a big challenge from Haile because he was the world record holder and had been running well.

"I was expecting to gain a lot of experience but not to win. It's like a new generation starting in the marathon."

Gebrselassie initially stepped off the road after 27km and looked like he wanted to vomit as he doubled over in pain, but after a minute he gingerly made his way back on to the course and continued running.

Race organisers then appeared to ask one of the pacemakers to wait for Gebrselassie to pace him back into the race, but the 38-year-old eventually dropped out for good between 35-40km.

That left one of the pacemakers, Kenya's Stephen Chemlany, to finish second more than four minutes behind, with Edwin Kimaiyo making it a Kenyan clean sweep.

Overall clocked 2hrs 10mins 55secs, well inside the Olympic qualifying time of 2:12.00, while Radcliffe's time of 2:23.46 was more than seven minutes inside the required mark.

Florence Kiplagat made it a Kenyan double with victory in 2:19.44, with Germany's Irina Mikitenko second in 2:22.18.

Overall said: "I couldn't believe it. When I got to 40k thought I had got the time wrong, so I was cruising on the home straight, and when I saw the clock said 2:10 I was very surprised.

"I was on my own from halfway and think that if I had a pacemaker possibly may have gone quicker. All in all, not a bad debut!"

Radcliffe, who had not run a marathon since finishing fourth in New York in 2009 said: "In some ways I am happy, in other ways I'm disappointed with third.

"It's been a tough year and with everything I had to come through I should accept this and at least I have the Olympic qualifying time. Now I have to build on that for London."