Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge celebrates after taking 1min 18sec off the world marathon record in Berlin today ©Getty Images

Kenya's Rio 2016 Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge took more than a minute off the marathon world record at this morning's Berlin Marathon - and later in the day France's world decathlon champion Kevin Mayer set a new world mark of 9,126 points at the annual meeting in Talence.

Kipchoge became the first man to break two hours and two minutes in a legal race as he finished in 2 hours 1min 39sec - way inside the mark of 2:02:57 set at the 2014 Berlin race by fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto.

Mayer, whose bid to win the European title in Berlin last month ended ignominiously as he failed to record a distance in the long jump, one of his strongest events, finished 81 points clear of the previous world record of 9,045 set by Ashton Eaton of the United States at the 2015 International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in 2015.

At the age of 33, Kipchoge achieved the greatest margin of improvement in the record since Australia's Derek Clayton ran 2:09.36.4 at the 1967 Fukuoka Marathon to trim almost 2:24 off the 2:12.00 mark set by Japan’s Morio Shigematsu at the 1965 Polytechnic Marathon in Britain.

On May 6 last year Kipchoge spearheaded Nike's Breaking2 project at the Monza Formula One race track in Italy as a group of elite athletes were paced and sheltered by a lead car and relays of supporting runners - both illegal for the purposes of records accredited by the International Association of Athletics Federations - in an effort to create the first sub two-hour marathon.

In the event Kipchoge ran 2:00.25 - more than two-and-a-half minutes inside the then legal mark of Kimetto which he broke today.

Kipchoge followed up winning last year's Berlin race in 2:03:32 before earning victory in this year's London Marathon in 2:04:17.

For months before the race, Kipchoge has maintained that he was focused on winning in Berlin - where the previous six world records were set.

"I lack the words to describe how I feel," Kipchoge said after a race in which he covered the second half of his race in an astonishing 60min 33sec.

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge wins the 2018 Berlin Marathon today in a world record of 2 hours 1min 39sec ©Getty Images
Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge wins the 2018 Berlin Marathon today in a world record of 2 hours 1min 39sec ©Getty Images

"It was really hard, but I was truly prepared to run my own race.

"I had to focus on the work I had put in in Kenya and that is what helped push me."

Amos Kipruto finished second in 2:06:23 and another Kenyan in Wilson Kipsang - who set a world record of 2:03:23 in winning the 2013 Berlin Marathon - was third in 2:06:48.

The Berlin organisers acclaimed Kipchoge as "the greatest marathon runner of all time" and his record backs that up.

This was his eighth big city marathon win within the World Marathon Majors event.

He also has world gold and silver and Olympic silver and bronze for the 5,000 metres distance.

Kipchoge has won 10 of the 11 marathons he has run. 

The only time he did not win was in Berlin five years ago when he finished second to Kipsang.

The women's race was won by Kenya’s Gladys Cherono in 2:18:11, with Ethiopia’s Ruti Aga second in 2:18:34 and world 10,000m record holder Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia third in 2:18:55.

Mayer, whose previous best of 8,834 points came as he took silver behind Eaton at the Rio 2016 Games, thus became only the third man to break 9,000 points for the event following the now-retired American and Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic, who was the first to surpass the mark in 2001.

Two personal bests on the first day of competition - 10.55sec for the 100 metres, and 7.80m for the long jump - gave him a halfway total of 4,563 points that meant he was 140 points adrift of world record standard.

But he then produced the best ever second day as he exactly replicated that score. 

France's world decathlon champion Kevin Mayer celebrates a huge world record of 9,126 points at his home meeting in Talence ©Getty Images
France's world decathlon champion Kevin Mayer celebrates a huge world record of 9,126 points at his home meeting in Talence ©Getty Images

He started with a 110m hurdles in 13.75 - four hundredths off his personal best.

That earned him 1,007 points, and when he hurled the discus out to 50.54m he was one point ahead of Eaton's record at the equivalent point.

A 5.45m pole vault meant that effective lead grew to 80 points, and then the deed was effectively achieved as he produced a huge personal best in the javelin of 71.90m - that put him 205 points ahead of schedule.

That meant he needed only to run the concluding 1,500m - at which his personal best stood at 4: 18.04sec - in 4:49.19 to break the world record.

A time of 4:36.11 earned him a margin of 81 points.

"The decathlon is more than a sport," Mayer said.

"I built myself with it, I learned values from it.

"But I realise it is useless to make great performances if we do not share them.

"I have been surrounded all my life, I have been this weekend.

"Without these people, I could not do it.

"My pleasure is that it is to share with everyone."