In his first competition on Indian soil, Kenya's Philemon Limo consigned a host of fancied names to the wayside to win the TCS World 10K Bangalore in unflustered fashion here on Sunday. The 25-year-old led for close to three-fourths of the race, eventually finishing in 28:01 ahead of compatriot Leonard Langat and Ethiopia's Lelisa Desisa.
Dire Tune, meanwhile, led an Ethiopian sweep in an engrossing women's race, edging Merima Mohammed in a photo finish to claim the title. The duo ran 33:19, a second quicker than third-placed Beleynesh Oljira.
Amid complaints of excessive humidity by overseas runners, whose times rose from last year, Indian performances improved appreciably. Suresh Kumar emerged the best of the men, finishing 20th overall in a time of 30:17.
V.L. Dangi and Kheta Ram clinched the second and third Indian prizes. All three improved on the corresponding times from last year. Kavita Raut was the pick of the women, recording 35:09 to cross the line in a remarkable 16th place. Runner-up Sudha Singh just broke into the top 20, managing 35:28, while Priyanka Singh finished third.
Elite men: 1. Philemon Limo (Ken) 28:01; 2. Leonard Langat (Ken) 28:09; 3. Lelisa Desisa (Eth) 28:13; 4. Emmanuel Kikemei (Ken) 28:20; 5. Vincent Kipruto (Ken) 28:45; 6. Aschealew Meketa (Eth) 28:47; 7. Nicholas Kamakya (Ken) 28:52; 8. Tesfatye Debaba (Eth) 28:54; 9. Sentayehu Merga (Eth) 29:04; 10. Habtamu Fikadu (Eth) 29:05.
Elite men (Indian): 1. Suresh Kumar 30:17; 2. V.L. Dangi 30:25; 3. Kheta Ram 30:34; 4. Indrajeet Patel 30:38; 5. Sandeep Kumar 30:53.
Elite women: 1. Dire Tune (Eth) 33:19; 2. Merima Mohammed (Eth) 33:19; 3. Beleynesh Oljira (Eth) 33:20; 4. Koren Yal (Eth) 33:21; 5. Philes Ongori (Ken) 33:22; 6. Doris Changeywo (Ken) 33:26; 7. Aselefech Mergia (Eth) 33:27; 8. Edna Kiplagat (Ken) 33:35; 9. Hilda Kibet (Ned) 33:40; 10. Mare Dibaba (Eth) 33:43.
Elite women (Indian): 1. Kavita Raut 35:09; 2. Sudha Singh 35:28; 3. Priyanka Singh 37:04; 4. Lalita Babbar 37:19; 5. Kiran Tiwari 37:27.
Keywords: Philemon Limo