Press Release23 May 2024

Ratified: Assefa’s world marathon record


Tigist Assefa wins the Berlin Marathon (© Getty Images)

Women’s world marathon record
2:11:53 Tigist Assefa (ETH) Berlin 24 September 2023

Tigist Assefa’s world marathon record of 2:11:53 set in Berlin last year has been ratified by World Athletics.

The Ethiopian smashed the previous mark by more than two minutes at the BMW Berlin Marathon on 24 September, becoming the first woman to run inside 2:13 and 2:12, and erasing the world record of 2:14:04 that had been set by Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei in Chicago on 13 October 2019.

During Assefa’s record-breaking run, a large pack of the leading contenders ran together through the early stages, passing through 5km in 15:58. 13 women were still in contact with the lead as they reached 10km in 31:45.

By 15km, reached in 47:26, Assefa and compatriot Workenesh Edesa had managed to open up a slight gap. Less than two kilometres later, Assefa was alone out in front and she went on to reach the half-way stage in 1:06:20, comfortably inside world record pace.

Assefa, still looking incredibly relaxed and composed, covered the 25-35km section in a remarkable 31:02. Spurred on by the knowledge that the world record was in the bag, Assefa picked up her pace in the closing kilometres and charged through the finish line in 2:11:53.

“I hope that my performance will be motivation for young women athletes in Ethiopia and that the world record one year before the Olympic Games gives our country a boost for Paris,” said Assefa.

World Athletics

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