Brazil's Ronaldo da Costa ran the fastest marathon in history Sunday, breaking the 10-year-old record by 45 seconds in clocking 2 hours 6 minutes 5 seconds, in the Berlin Marathon.
The 28-year-old bettered the previous world best of 2:06:50 set by Ethiopia's Belayneh Densimo at Rotterdam, Netherlands, in 1988.
"I wanted to run under 2:08, but when I saw how good the conditions were I just went for it," Da Costa said.
Da Costa broke to the front at the halfway point, reached in 1:04:42. From there, his acceleration was so quick that within less than a mile, he was 45 seconds in front.
He ran the second half in an impressive 1:01:23, and after crossing the finish line did a cartwheel in celebration.
It is the second time this year a marathon world record has fallen. Kenya's Tegla Loroupe smashed the women's 13-year-old record with 2:20:47 at Rotterdam in April.
Da Costa, who is from Descoberto, 120 miles north of Rio de Janeiro, earned $200,000 for the victory. He also is expected to command as much as $250,000 in appearance money at future marathons. "This will make him a millionaire," said Luis Posso, Da Costa's manager.
After finishing second, third or fourth in eight international events this decade, hurdler Tony Jarrett of Britain finally struck gold.
With world-record holder Colin Jackson absent, Jarrett edged Trinidad's Steve Brown in the 110-meter hurdles final to highlight action at the Commonwealth Games at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
A month after losing three family members in a plane crash, Mark Martin led a record 380 of 400 laps as he easily won NASCAR's MBNA Gold 400 Sunday at Dover, Del. Winston Cup points leader Jeff Gordon finished second. . . . Gary Scelzi, the defending Winston Top Fuel champion, took over the points lead for the first time this year when he won at the Pioneer Electronics Keystone Nationals at Mohnton, Pa. . . . John Paul Jr. avoided two near-accidents to win the Indy Racing League's inaugural Lone Star 500 at Texas Motor Speedway at Fort Worth.
Conchita Martinez won her singles match and combined with Arantxa Sanchez Vicario to win the tiebreaking doubles match against Martina Hingis and Patty Schnyder that lifted Spain to a 3-2 victory over Switzerland in the Federation Cup final at Geneva. . . . Felix Mantilla defeated fellow Spaniard Albert Costa, 6-3, 7-5, to win his second consecutive Samsung Open at Bournemouth, England. . . . Second-seeded Tim Henman of England defeated top-seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia, 7-5, 6-4, to win the $500,000 President's Cup tournament at Tashkent, Uzbekistan. . . . Yannick Noah won his first senior title of the year, defeating Guy Forget, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, in an all-French final at the Compaq Senior tournament at Paris. . . . Heavy rain postponed the final at the $315,000 Romanian Open clay court tournament at Bucharest. Top-seeded Francisco Clavet of Spain and French qualifier Arnaud Di Pasquale will play for the title today.
Labeeb beat Jim and Tonic by a head to win the second running of the $750,000 Woodbine Mile at Woodbine race track at Toronto with a time of 1:33. The mood around the track, however, was somber after the death earlier in the day of the filly Cotton Carnival, who earned a Sovereign Award last year as a top Canadian 3-year-old. Cotton Carnival suffered a fatal heart attack after the $52,000 Wilderness Song Stakes.
Florida's five commissioners who regulate boxing are considering whether to suspend or revoke Don King's license to promote fights in the state after he failed to list then-pending criminal wire fraud charges on his application in January. King was acquitted in July. The commission's decision also may test its credibility, as its executive director, Michael Scionti, fends off allegations that King was given special treatment in return for a $100,000 donation to a boxing foundation that Scionti started. . . . Frederick Alderman, the oldest Olympic gold medalist in track and field in the United States, is dead at 93. He died Tuesday of congestive heart failure at The Mews personal care home at Social Circle, Ga. In the 1928 Olympics at Amsterdam, Alderman ran on the world-record-setting U.S. 1,600-meter relay team. . . . Dave Villwock averaged 147.9 mph to win the 18th Unlimited Hydroplane national championship on Mission Bay at San Diego. Miss Budweiser was the winning craft for the seventh time this season.