Alex Korio and Irene Cheptai made it a Kenyan double at the TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2017 race, winning at the 10th edition of the race in 28:12 and 31:51 respectively, and each taking home a winner’s cheque for USD 26,000 on Sunday.
With revised timings of the elite race in this edition of the TCS World 10K, the male and female elite completed the first 800 metres cheered on by a loud stadium packed with amateur runners, who returned from their own personal runs in the Open 10K and Majja Run to cheer on and enjoying the best of international road racing.
While Mosinet Geremew was attempting for a hat-trick in Bangalore, Alex Korio, was the one who shined through. Another former champion of the TCS World 10K, Korio, regained the title he won in 2013 with a strong second half of the race which also saw the winner run a negative split. New Zealand’s Zane Robertson pushed the pace along with designated pacemaker Stephen Kissa, from Uganda, during the early part of the race as a nine-man pack went through 3km in 8:30 and then 5km in 14:09. Korio then threw down the gauntlet midway through the seventh kilometre and no one could stay with him.
Korio won 28:12 with Kiptoo winning the battle for second in 28:26 with Kissa – who later said he’d decided to finish the race around the halfway point – taking third on his debut over the distance in 28:28.
“My experience after winning the race in 2013 certainly helped me today. I knew the course and I knew where would be a good place to push,” reflected Korio. “I realised I could win the race at around six kilometres. I was watching Zane till the 6km mark and when Zane dropped, I knew I could push it even more,” he added.
Robertson, highly favoured after his outstanding 2016 which saw him lead the world over 10km on the roads with his 27:28, struggled during the second half of the race and finished seventh in 28:49.
Kenya’s world record holder Leonard Komon and Ethiopia’s defending champion Mosinet Geremew were off the back of the leading group by the fifth kilometre and eventually finished eighth and tenth in 28:55 and 29:31 respectively.
Amongst the Indian Men, Naveen Kumar stole the show with a 30:56 finish followed by Sandeep Tayade at 31:02 and Shankar Man Thapa who took bronze at 31:07.
Kumar who is training currently in Bengaluru on his speed work as a steeplechaser entered the elite line-up early this morning with the sole ambition of winning. “If I get a chance to participate, I would only run to win. It started out as a follow race for me and when I got to 8k I knew I would run my own race. And this race has given me the confidence of going out there, training harder and returning for a better time,” shared Kumar, who is currently focused on the World Championships and Asian Championships in his first discipline of Steeple Chase.
Sandeep Tayade, stayed on Kumar’s heels most of the race, with both of them clocking similar times through the first 7 KMS was surprised by second place finish, “Today my body just felt good and I decided to go with the flow. When we hit the 8KM mark, I believed that I could be amongst the top 4 but it was only when I entered the stadium and heard the crowd cheering me on did I think I had a chance at podium. The silver medal is a pleasant surprise.” Kumar took home a prize money of INR 2,50,000 while Sandeep went home INR 1,75,000 richer.
Amongst the Women Elite, Cheptai caught the eye in particular with an impressive performance that will confirm her rising status in the world of distance running and reinforce the belief that she can be among the medals over the same distance on the track at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London this coming August.
A conservative first half saw nine women pass 3km in 9:51 and five runners – Cheptai and her Kenyan compatriots Gladys Chesir, Helah Kiprop and Magdalyne Masai as well as Ethiopia’s Worknesh Degefa – were still together as the halfway point was reached in 16:19, at this stage well outside course-record pace. However, Cheptai was looking comfortable and always to the fore during the first five kilometres and soon took matters into her own hands. She gradually went through the gears in the seventh and eighth kilometres as her rivals one-by-one slipped away as they struggled to stay with the race favourite.
Despite being on her own at the front, her tempo didn’t drop over the final two kilometres and she crossed the line in the Sree Kanteerava Stadium just three seconds outside the course record of 31:48, set by another Kenyan runner Lucy Kabuu in 2014, after running the second half of the course in 15:32.
“I wasn’t confident at the start,” said Cheptai, partially explaining why she had not pushed the pace harder during the opening kilometres. “But from eight kilometres I grew in confidence and knew that I was going to win, and I was trying for the course record from seven kilometres.”
Degefa, the last of Cheptai’s opponents to succumb, hung on to take second place in 32:00 while the 2012 women’s winner Kiprop closed the gap on Degefa in the closing stages of the race but was third on this occasion in 32:02.
Amongst the Indian women, Saigeeta controlled most of the race amongst her competitors, with her often being the singular Indian Woman in a frame, leaving her competition so far behind. Completing the course that has been complemented for smoother roads, Saigeeta her 10KM in a 36:01 followed by Kiran Sahdev who had entered the race aiming to run a personal best not focusing on a medal or podium place. Speaking about her race, the 25 year old said, “I could have done a better time. I know that this is my best competition time, but I know I could do better because I have done better times at training. Also, I think If my seniors were here , I would have also won at a better time as they would have pushed me.”
Preenu Yadav who joined Saigeeta and Kiran on the podium in third place at 36:46 was delighted with her win, sharing, “I did not imagine that I would have made the podium and for that I am delighted! The training I have received from Coach Bhatia has been beneficial.”
The USD 205,059 event witnessed an estimated 24,000 runners at the start line today in the five different race categories that included over 13,000 participants in the Open 10K and over 8000 runners in the popular Majja Run.
Overall Elite Men :
Alex Korio (KEN) 00:28:12; Edwin Kiptoo (KEN) 00:28:26; Stephen Kissa (UGA) 00:28:28; Mule Wasihun (ETH) 00:28:34; Birhanu Legese (ETH) 00:28:36; Abdallah Mande (UGA) 00:28:45; Zane Robertson (NZL) 00:28:49; Leonard Komon (KEN) 00:28:55; Bonsa Dida (ETH) 00:29:24; Mosinet Geremew (ETH) 00:29:31.
Overall Elite Women :
Irene Cheptai (KEN) 00:31:51; Worknesh Degefa (ETH) 00:32:00; Helah Kiprop (KEN) 00:32:02; Gladys Chesir (KEN) 00:32:11; Magdalyne Masai (KEN) 00:32:37; Desi Jisa (BHR) 00:33:01; Failuna Matanga (TAN) 00:33:32; Wude Ayalew (ETH) 00:33:33; Karolina Nadolska (POL) 00:33:56; Mimi Belete (BHR) 00:34:32.
Naveen Kumar (Overall 14) 00:30:56; Sandeep Tayade (Overall 15) 00:31:02; Shankar Man Thapa (Overall 16) 00:31:07; Anil Pawar (Overall 17) 00:31:12; Indrajeet Patel (Overall 18) 00:31:33; Deepak Kumbhar (Overall 19) 00:31:35; Arjun Pradhan (Overall 20) 00:31:37.
Indian Women :
Saigeetha Naik (Overall 11) 00:36:01; Kiran Sahdev (Overall 12) 00:36:30; Preenu Yadav (Overall 13) 00:36:46; Jyoti Chouhan (Overall 14) 00:37:12; Monika Raut (Overall 15) 00:37:30; Kiranjeet Kaur (Overall 16) 00:38:18; Mamta Kumari (Overall 17) 00:38:33; Arpita Saini (Overall 18) 00:38:48; Janabai Hirave (Overall 19) 00:38:56; Varsha Namdev (Overall 20) 00:39:51.
Men: Men Team 1 (Narendra D, K N Naveen, Raja) 01:47:20; Men Team 2 (Ganesh, Kumar Swamy B K, Raju Dasar) 01:56:17.
Women: Women Team 4 (Hemanthvathi G G, Pavithra, Devamma) 02:39:55; Women Team 1 (Sushmitha Pawar, C V Swetha, N Usha Rani) 03:05:44.
Jabong Running Costume:
1st – Anand Raj
2nd – Manas Kumar
3rd – Prathna Kaul
1st – Shrimad Rajchandra Mission – Yug Purush, Mahatmas Mahatma
2nd -Payir- Eco friendly and Non Eco Friendly
3rd -Sahas- Waste Segregation