Just a day after the world’s greatest marathoner, Eliud Kipchoge, entered the annals of history, another Kenyan broke the women’s marathon record at the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei won the Chicago Marathon and broke Paula Radcliffe’s record which has stood for 16 years.
Kosgei broke Radcliffe’s record by nearly one-and-half-minutes clocking 2:14:04, decimating the 2:15:25 set in London on April 14, 2003.
The 25-year-old added to her win in London this year when she clocked 2:18:20.
Commentators highly anticipated that a world record was on the line ahead of the 42 Bank of America Chicago marathon.
Writing in Chicago’s Sun Times on October 10, Dale Bowman said: “It has been a long time since a marathon world record was set in Chicago.
There’s a chance for one Sunday in the 42nd Bank of America Chicago Marathon. At least on the women’s side, from Kenyan Brigid Kosgei.
Chicago Marathon’s race director Carey Pinkowski told Bowman that she expected a really fast race in the tradition of Catherine, Paula (Radcliffe) and Joan.”
Radcliffe, former world champion, was at the finish line in Chicago to witness Kosgei’s remarkable performance and was among the first to congratulate her.
“When I saw how fast Brigid was running in the first half I knew it was going to be broken,” said Radcliffe.
Brigid crossed the finish line alone, with Ethiopians Ababel Yeshaneh and Gelete Burka a distant second and third in 2:20:51 and 2:20:55.
While the IAAF recognizes the 2:17:01 clocked by Mary Jepkosgei Keitany at the 2017 London Marathon as a “women only” world record posted without male pace-setters, it’s Radcliffe’s mark — so long untouchable — that has been the grail for female marathon runners.
Kosgei signalled her intentions with an astonishing first five kilometers in 15:28 — so far inside Radcliffe’s world record pace that it seemed she might have ruined her chances out of the gate.
Kosgei’s victory caps a good weekend for Kenyan runners coming hot on the heels of Kipchoge’s sub-two hour marathon in Vienna, Austria on Saturday.
Before Kosgei’s record-breaking run, another Kenyan, Lawrence Cherono out-sprinted Ethiopia’s Dejene Debela to win the men’s race.
Additional reporting by BBC and AFP.