Gebrselassie takes fourth successive Berlin marathon crown

Submitted by Francis Ngwa-Niba on 20 September 2009 - 2:19pm

Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie won his fourth successive Berlin Marathon title but missed out on breaking his own world record this morning.

Gebrselassie became the first man to run under 2 hours, 04 minutes when he smashed his own world record for the second consecutive year in 2008 and slashed 27 seconds off his previous mark to clock 2:03.59.

But this year, warm conditions scuppered any hopes of him breaking the record though he led the race throughout to take victory in 2:06.08.

Kenya's Francis Kiprop was second in a personal best of  2:07:04 and Haile's compatriot Negari Therfa was third in 2:07:41, another personal best.

Haile said after the race: "I think I gave too much at the beginning because I was really tired with about 10km to go. 

"But I expected more from my opponents - I just made sure I ran my best and I'm really happy to win it for the fourth time.

"It was too hot for a new world record, but I am happy with the time, the last few kilometres were hard."

Ethiopian Atsede Habtamu Besuye won the women's marathon crossing the line in 2:24:47, Silvia Skvortsova of Russia was second in 2:26:24 and Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia was third in 2:26:38.

A record number of 40,923 runners from 122 nations had entered the 36th edition of the Berlin Marathon.

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