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Proud Kenyans hail Eliud Kipchoge's new marathon world record

Eliud Kipchoge is widely viewed as the best marathon runner of the present day era [Reuters]

Two hours, about a minute and 39 seconds.

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

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

Kipchoge, 33, is certainly the best marathon runner of the present day era.

He burst onto the international sporting scene at age 18, winning the U20 race at the planet 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’s got run, including in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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

His only marathon defeat so was also in Berlin in 2013 far, when he was defeated by former world record fellow and holder 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 – because the East African trio made a podium sweep.

“Congratulations Eliud Kipchoge for breaking the planet record at the Berlin marathon 2018. I congratulate his compatriots Amos Kipruto &amp also; Wilson Kipsang for heading out valiantly to create a 1-2-3 victory for #TeamKenya. You’re our heroes. Kenya is pleased with you,” Kenyatta wrote on Twitter.

Many Kenyans saw  Kipchoge’s victory as a temporary respite from the issues the national country has been facing recently.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera News