Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei sets women’s marathon world record in Chicago

Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei had the time of her life in winning the 2019 Chicago Marathon in a women’s world-record time.

CHICAGO — Brigid Kosgei of Kenya won the Chicago Marathon on Sunday in 2 hours, 14 minutes, 4 seconds, setting the women’s world record in the event.

The 25-year-old Kosgei bested the previous mark of 2:15:25 set by Paula Radcliffe in London 16 years ago. Kosgei won in Chicago last year in 2:18:35.

‘‘I’m feeling good and I am happy because I was not expected to run like this,’’ Kosgei said.


Radcliffe first set a world record at Chicago in 2002 before besting her own mark a year later in London.

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‘‘It was 17 years ago exactly today that I set the first world record here in Chicago,’’ said Radcliffe, who attended Sundays’ race. ‘‘That was a special day for me today and it’s a very special day for Brigid today.’’

It was the fifth world record set at the Chicago Marathon, and the first since Radcliffe in 2002.

Kosgei’s run came little more than 24 hours after fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge became the first man to run 26.2 miles in less than two hours, clocking 1:59:40.2 in Vienna.

Unlike Kipchoge’s performance, however, Kosgei’s mark was set in an official race on a record-eligible course.


Kosgei said she had Kipchoge on her mind.

“I kept saying, ‘Tomorrow is my day,’ ” she said. “I wanted to be the second Kipchoge — the Kipchoge for women. I focused on that.”

Kosgei, who also won this year’s London Marathon in 2:18:20, set a fast early pace but slowed a bit after the halfway mark. She was waving to the crowd as she approached the finish line, nearly seven minutes ahead of runners following her.

Ababel Yeshaneh (2:20:51) and Gelete Burka (2:20:55), both of Ethiopia, finished second and third.

Kenyan Lawrence Cherono, the reigning Boston Marathon winner, sprinted across the finish in the men’s race to beat Ethiopian Dejene Debela by one second. Cherono finished in 2:05:45, with Ethiopia’s Debela two strides behind. Asefa Mengstu, also of Kenya, came in third three seconds behind Cherono.


‘‘All of a sudden when we reach 41 kilometers, the [other runners] were not going again,’’ Cherono said. ‘‘I decided to kick and felt I was still having enough energy to sprint. I tried my luck and it worked.’’

Cherono, who won Boston in 2:07:57, captured her eighth marathon victory.

Defending champion Mo Farah, who set a European record here last year, finished ninth in 2:09:58.