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The day after Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge became the first to run a marathon in under two hours, Brigid Kosgei showed her country's dominance in distance running by setting a world record in retaining her Chicago Marathon title.
She finished with an unofficial time of 2hr 14min 4sec, shattering the 2:15:25 mark set by Britain's Paula Radcliffe in the 2003 London Marathon by more than a minute.
Sunday's display capped an unbelievable weekend for marathon running, with Kipchoge breaking the two-hour barrier in a special event in Vienna designed to show that a sub two-hour mark was possible despite the time not recognised as a world record as it was on a specially prepared course.
Former United States president Barack Obama yesterday lauded their achievements as "staggering", tweeting that "they're also remarkable examples of humanity's ability to endure - and keep raising the bar".
Kosgei also revealed that her compatriot's feat had inspired her to "be the second Kipchoge - the Kipchoge for women".
"They (spectators) were cheering, cheering and I got more energy to keep faster. I was not expecting this," she said. "I was expecting to run 2:16 or 2:17. It's amazing to run 2:14, but the world record was in my head. When I started the race, I was thinking I need 2:15 for Paula's record.
"I don't know how to explain how it feels to run a world record. I am so happy."
Radcliffe, who posed for photos with Kosgei later, admitted that she always knew the time would come when the record would be broken.
"When I saw how fast Brigid was running in the first half of the race, I knew that she had a good chance of getting the record," the four-time Olympian added. "I've always said 17 is my lucky number and it was exactly 17 years ago to the day that I set my first world record here in Chicago."
And like any true competitor, Kosgei does not plan to coast on her latest accomplishment as she believes "if a lady can prepare good and they have no injury... they can reduce to reduce to 2:12 or 2:13".
Making it clear that her sole goal was to get even faster, the youngest winner of the London Marathon said: "I'm still focusing to reduce my time again - if it's possible. If my body would be good, (I can) reduce little by little, slowly."(10/17/2019) ⚡AMP
Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states andmore than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and fast...more...