Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge crosses the finish line to win the Berlin Marathon setting a new world record on September 16, 2018 in Berlin. AFP PHOTOKenya's Eliud Kipchoge crosses the finish line to win the Berlin Marathon setting a new world record on September 16, 2018 in Berlin. AFP PHOTO
By STEVEN OMONDI

Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge has immortalized his status as the greatest marathoner ever by smashing the world record on Sunday in Berlin.

Kipchoge, who broke off early from the rest of the elite field of competitors, ran a calm and well calculated race to obliterate Dennis Kimetto’s old mark of 2:02:57 – set on the same course four years ago – with an astonishing new mark of 2:01:39

Kipchoge’s three pacemakers were down to one by the 15km mark, but still the Olympic World Champions maintained a world record pace.

In his trademark poise Kipchoge, coasted through the rest of the race virtually unchallenged by the chasers.

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Eliud Kipchoge reacts after winning the Berlin Marathon setting a new world record on September 16, 2018 in Berlin. AFP PHOTO

By the half way mark, Kipchoge had completely imposed himself on the race with chasing compatriot Wilson Kipsang and Amos Kipruto nowhere in sight.

At the 25km mark, with the last pacemaker’s job done, Kipchoge surged ahead on his own with only the clock to beat.

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After the race Kipchoge revealed that things didn’t quite go according to plan after all his three pacemakers dropped off.

“It wasn’t my plan, I had hoped to run with the pacemakers beyond the 25km mark,” an elated Kipchoge said after the race.

Kipchoge, who came into the race with a personal best of 2:03:05 from London two years ago, has now won the 10 of the 11 marathons he has competed in since 2013 when he switched from track to road racing.

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge points at a clock displaying his time after winning the Berlin Marathon setting a new world record on September 16, 2018 in Berlin. AFP PHOTO

Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge points at a clock displaying his time after winning the Berlin Marathon setting a new world record on September 16, 2018 in Berlin. AFP PHOTO

The new world record holder also promised to return to Berlin next year.

“I always say Berlin forever. I will come back next year,” he said.

Further behind, Kipsang ceded second place to Kipruto who finished second in 2:06:22. Kipsang clocked 2:06:46 to come in third as Kenyans made a clean podium sweep.