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The Olympic Champion shattered the previous world record set by his Kenyan counterpart Dennis Kimetto in 2014 by a massive one minute and 16 seconds after clocking 2 hours, 01 minute and 39 seconds to defend his Berlin Marathon title on Sunday.

Kipchoge's run was the biggest improvement on the marathon mark since Australian Derek Clayton took nearly 2min 30sec off the record in 1967.

"They say you miss two times but you can't miss the third time", he said in reference to his two previous failed attempts to break the world record in Berlin.

For months before the race, Kipchoge has maintained that he was focused on winning in Berlin.

"It was really hard, but I was prepared to run my own race early so I wasn't surprised to be alone".

The Kenyan passed through five kilometres in 14:24 and 10 kilometres in 29:21. "@EliudKipchoge is a monster congrats champ I will live to remember this day it will take a generation to see another run like that", former Boston Marathon champion Wesley Korir added on Twitter.

He passed the 35-kilometre checkpoint just a shade outside 1:41:00, suggesting a finishing time inside 2:02 was possible.

Kipchoge's world record is a victory 15 years in the making.

Kipchoge maintained his form well into the closing stages to smash compatriot Kimetto's previous best.

"So I want to thank everyone who has helped me", said Kipchoge, who also won in Berlin in 2015 and 2017.

Kipchoge came agonisingly close to sporting immortality by almost running the first sub two-hour marathon past year.

He is regarded as one of the greatest marathon runners of all time and is referred to as "the boss man" by his fellow athletes in Kenya.

Fellow Kenyan Gladys Cherono won the women's race with a course record and best time of the year of 2:18:11, leaving Ethiopians Ruti Aga and pre-race favourite Tirunesh Dibaba in second and third place respectively.

KENYAN TRIO: Now that's how you celebrate triumph in Berlin!