Pakistani marathon runners impressed at theBerlin Marathon 2023 with five of them finishing the race in less than three hours.
The runners, namely Muhammad Sajjad (2:37:34), Amin Mukatay (2:46), Abdul Rehman (2:50), Sadiq Shah (2:52:16), and Faisal Shafi (2:58), have left an indelible mark on Pakistan's running history by their remarkable achievements on the international stage.
Sadiq Shah, who had previously participated in the London Marathon earlier in April, accomplished an incredible feat completing the marathon in 2 hours, 52 minutes, and 16 seconds.
Notably, Sadiq Shah emerged as the fastest runner in his age group, further solidifying his status as an elite marathoner. This remarkable performance also earned him a qualification for the prestigious Boston Marathon, marking another significant milestone in his running career.
Muhammad Sajjad, hailing from Bahawalpur, achieved the distinction of being the fastest Pakistani marathon runner in any international marathon. He completed the Berlin Marathon in an astonishing 2 hours, 37 minutes, and 34 seconds. Muhammad Sajjad's outstanding performance not only earned him recognition as a top-tier marathon runner but also secured his position as a World Marathon Major participant.
Adding to the list of remarkable achievements, Dr Rabia Naeem, a senior paediatrician based in the United States, made history by becoming the first-ever Pakistani-origin female Abbott Six Star Finisher at the Berlin Marathon. She crossed the finish line in 3 hours and 54 minutes.
All the participants from Pakistan successfully completed the marathon. Sarah Lodhi completed another swift marathon in 3 hours and 17 minutes.
Hira Diwan achieved her fastest marathon time, clocking in at 3 hours, 30 minutes, and 10 seconds, securing a Boston qualifying time for her age group.
Adnan Gandhi, the co-founder of SVRC, also achieved a Boston qualifying time and recorded his fastest marathon at 3 hours, 19 minutes, and 26 seconds.
Muhammad Junaid, an anchor for Geo News, completed his third major marathon in less than 6 months, finishing the Berlin Marathon in 3 hours and 54 minutes.
Uzma Abid completed the marathon in 4 hours, 10 minutes, and 45 seconds, while Sana Malik finished in 4 hours and 4 minutes, and Nadia Rehman crossed the finish line in 4 hours and 2 minutes.
While Kaukab Sarwar finished in 4 hours and 8 minutes.
Remember, more than 60 Pakistanis participated in the Berlin Marathon which included 14 female marathon runners. This was Pakistan’s largest-ever contingent parin a World Marathon Major event.
Tigist Assefa of Ethiopia achieved a remarkable feat on Sunday, smashing the women's marathon world record at the Berlin Marathon. She completed the challenging course in a stunning 2 hours, 11 minutes, and 53 seconds, eclipsing the previous record by over two minutes.
This victory marked Assefa's second consecutive Berlin Marathon triumph, and her new record was a remarkable two minutes and 11 seconds faster than Brigid Kosgei's previous world record set at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. However, it is important to note that the record is still pending the standard ratification process, as reported by World Athletics.
Despite her relatively short history in marathon running, Assefa only participated in her third competitive marathon after transitioning from middle-distance events, she displayed an extraordinary performance.
Right from the starting line, the race was electrifying, with the top 12 women maintaining a pace that was within reach of the world record during the initial 15 kilometres. Assefa pushed herself to the limits, and by the halfway point, she was more than a minute ahead of the world record pace, leading the race with remarkable determination.
In the end, Tigist Assefa crossed the finish line with an astonishing lead of almost six minutes over Kenya's Sheila Chepkirui, who secured second place, and Tanzania's Magdalena Shauri, who set a national record with her time of 2 hours, 18 minutes, and 41 seconds, clinching third place.
Meanwhile, in the men's race, Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge made history by winning his fifth title at the Berlin Marathon, finishing with a time of 2 hours, 2 minutes, and 42 seconds, which stands as the fifth-fastest time of his illustrious career. Kipchoge faced a formidable challenge from Derseh Kindie, with the Ethiopian closely trailing him for much of the race. However, Kipchoge's unmatched prowess allowed him to pull ahead around the 31-kilometre mark, ultimately winning by a margin of 31 seconds.
This year's Berlin Marathon showcased remarkable speed, with a record-breaking nine men finishing in under 2 hours and 5 minutes, and an unprecedented eight women achieving a sub-2:20 finish.