Marathon World Record: Unraveling the Madness and Doubts
Posted : 28 September 2023
During the Berlin Marathon, Tigist Asafa, an Ethiopian athlete, exhibited an awe-inspiring feat of endurance and speed. As she approached the final kilometer, her eyes fixed on the clock strapped to her wrist, she realized a victory was within reach. The marathon had begun with a staggering 48,000 participants, and Asafa relentlessly surged ahead, overtaking even seasoned male runners who had excelled in past Olympics. Her strides bore no visible strain; each step appeared effortless and purposeful.
The weather conditions were ideal for a fast run, and every parameter of the race indicated a remarkable pace. Asafa's sights were initially set on clinching first place, a repeat of her triumph from the previous year. However, a newfound motivation stirred within her. She aspired to surpass the world record set by Kenyan runner Brigid Kosgei during the 2019 Chicago Marathon.
With only about a kilometer to go, Asafa summoned a surge of energy, pressing her inner accelerator. In an astonishing sprint, she shattered the world record by over two minutes, completing the marathon in an astounding time of 2 hours, 11 minutes, and 53 seconds. This achievement was all the more remarkable considering it was only her third marathon.
The aftermath of her victory left the athletics community astounded, pondering the future of marathon racing after such an extraordinary display. Asafa's accomplishment went beyond securing victory; she achieved a negative split, running the second half of the marathon even faster than the first. This overshadowed Eliud Kipchoge's historic fifth win in the competition and raised intriguing questions about the potential to break the men's marathon entry standard for the Paris Olympic Games.
Asafa's athletic journey is a testament to her relentless dedication and progress over the years. From starting to run 11-meter races 800 years ago to barely breaking the two-minute barrier in 2014, her trajectory in track and field has been astonishing. She transitioned to road running after facing challenges in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, eventually achieving significant success in marathons.
However, given the history of doping in athletics, some observers question the rapid improvements in race times. Asafa's manager, Gianni Damdonna, emphasizes the strict oversight of his runners and highlights Asafa's middle-class background, suggesting she doesn't face the same pressures as others to cheat for financial reasons. Nonetheless, questions about the timing and her absence from the London Marathon linger, emphasizing the need for transparency and vigilance in the world of sports.
Amidst the speculations and records, Asafa remains a beacon of hope for aspiring athletes, especially young girls in Ethiopia. Her hope to represent her country in the Olympics and inspire fellow Ethiopians demonstrates her dedication to the sport and her desire to pave the way for future generations. As she crossed the finish line and celebrated her victory, she kissed the asphalt, expressing gratitude, faith, and determination, embodying the spirit of a true champion.