Running Athletics

Kenyans Korio, Cheptai win TCS 10K run

The winning moment: Alex Korio clocked 28:12   | Photo Credit: K Murali Kumar

Alex Korio and Irene Cheptai made it a Kenyan double at the TCS World 10K run, clocking 28:12 and 31:51 respectively in the race in Bengaluru today.

Korio and Cheptai collected the winners’ cheque for USD 26,000 each.

With revised timings of the elite race, 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 Bengaluru, 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 had decided to finish the race around the halfway point - taking third on his debut over the distance in 28:28.

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.

In the Women Elite run, 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 in 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.

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.

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 8:09:34 AM |

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