Haile breaks world marathon record

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/g/gebra.jpg' class='caption'> Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie broke his own world record on Sunday at the Berlin Marathon for the second consecutive year in the German capital.

Updated: September 28, 2008 10:41 IST
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Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie was delighted to put his recent calf injury behind him to break his own world record on Sunday at the Berlin Marathon for the second consecutive year in the German capital.

The 35-year-old brushed off a calf injury he suffered in training two weeks ago to come home in a time of 2hours 03minutes 59seconds.

He took nearly half a minute off his own previous world record of 2hours 04minutes 26seconds set here twelve months ago to fulfill his own confident pre-race prediction of setting a new best mark.

This was the sixth time the world record has been broken in Berlin on the traditionally flat course.

"I am so, so happy, everything was perfect, the weather was perfect, the spectators were perfect, everything - I am so happy" said the Ethiopian.

"Two weeks ago I had a bit of a problem with my calf muscle, but I took a week off.

"It gave me a few worries coming here, but I forgot about it as the race wore on.

"I knew before I came here I could do something special, if you look from the beginning, everyone in Berlin seems to come and watch the race, it's a wonderful feeling."

The twice Olympic 5000m champion has plenty of reasons to be happy.

As well as breaking the 26th world record of his career he will receive $73,000 for winning on top of his estimated $365,000 fee for racing here.

It was his sixth victory in his ninth marathon and this was the 35th Berlin marathon.

Kenya's James Kwambai finished second in a time of 2hours 5minutes 36seconds and his compatriot Charles Kamathi was third in 2hours 7minutes 48seconds.

Germany's Irina Mikitenko, who won the London Marathon earlier this year, won the women's race in a time of 2hrs 19mins 18secs which was a personal best and the fastest time in the world this year.

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