Micah Kogo to lead African charge in TCS World 10k run
Bengaluru, May 14 (IANS)
A clutch of East African athletes are set to dominate the TCS World 10K run here on Sunday with Olympic bronze medallist Micah Kogo from Kenya heading the elite men's field.
Also in the fray are long distance and marathon runners Kenyan Japhet Korir, Belaynesh Oljira, Mamitu Daska and Aselefech Mergia Medessa from Ethiopia, all of whom have competed at the best cross country championships and track and road marathons across the globe.
Besides Kogo, the line-up also includes fellow Kenyans, 2010 World Junior Championships gold medallist David Bett, who is running his second 10K on the road; pacemaker from this year's Mumbai Marathon Edwin Kiptoo and bronze medallist at the Tokyo Marathon 2015 Dickson Chumba.
In 2013, Kogo made his debut in the Boston Marathon finishing second with an impressive time of 2:10.27 and later that year, he finished fourth in Chicago Marathon running his personal best 2:06:56.A
Kogo's personal best over of 26:35.63 across 10,000 metres makes him the sixth fastest man ever in the category. However, he will face severe competition from Korir who returns to the country where he made his debut on the World stage at the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2008, Pune.
Having started off with a bronze in the 5000m event, Korir went on to win World and African Cross Country Championships. Birhanu Legese will also look to establish his authority, looking to repeat his performance from the Berlin marathon that he won in 59:45 minutes.
Commenting on his excitement on returning to TCS World 10K, Korir said: "I have always enjoyed coming to the city of Bengaluru for the 10K. It is one of the most well organised runs that I have participated in. I have been training hard and feel like I am in good shape currently to do my best at the run on Sunday."
Marking her return to the city is double World Cross Country champion Emily Chebet, one of the fastest ladies in the world with a personal best of 30:58.
Winning her second World title in 2013, Chebet travelled to the World Championships in Moscow where she represented Kenya in the 10,000m.
She will be joined by winner of the 'World Best 10K' in San Juan and bronze medalist 2013 World Cross Country and World Championships Belaynesh Oljira who will look to better her personal best of 31:07 that she had earlier recorded in 2010.A
Ethiopian runner and winner of the Dubai Marathon Aselefech Mergia will also be joining the elite women athletes.
Mergia, winner of the Bengaluru 10K in 2009 and silver medallist at 2010, said: "I have very fond memories of running in this city and am really glad to be back here again. It is a very beautiful course to run through and the weather in the city is ideal to try and improve on timings. I have been running well this year and am looking to continue that form here."
The winners in the Men's and Women's World 10K categories win $21,000 each. Currently, the men's record stands at 27.44 minutes, set last year by Geoffrey Kamworoor, while the women's mark was also set at 31.48 by Lucy Kabuu, the same year.