Berlin: Kenya’s Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge underlined his status as the world's best current long-distance runner by winning the Berlin Marathon on Sunday, but missed the world record.
Kipchoge clocked an official time of two hours, three minutes 32 seconds after holding off the challenge of Ethiopia's Guye Adola, who finished 14 seconds back on his debut at the distance (42.195km, 26.219 mi).
Ethiopia's Mosinet Geremew finished third, clocking 2:06:12.
"The conditions were not easy, because of the rain, but fortunately there was not too much wind," said Kipchoge.
In the women's race, Kenya's Gladys Cherono won in 02:20:23 with Ruti Aga of Ethiopia second at 0.18secs back and Valary Aiyabei of Kenya taking third at 0.30. Heavy rain the night before and constant drizzle during the race meant the world record of 2:02.57, set in Berlin by Dennis Kimetto of Kenya in 2014, did not fall as expected.
However, there were surprises as both former world record holder Wilson Kipsang and last year's winner Kenenisa Bekele dropped out after the halfway stage.
Bekele, who had targeted the world record, dropped off the lead group just after the halfway mark with laboured running and eventually failed to finish.