BENGALURU:Aselefech Mergia, Wude Ayalew and Helah Kiprop — winners of the World 10K in 2009, (of Ethiopia, 2010 and 2012 (of Kenya) — are in the fray in the Elite women’s category in the current edition of the road-running competition to held on Sunday, May 17.
Marking her return to Bengaluru is two-time World Cross Country champion Emily Chebet. Emily is one of the fastest ladies in the world, with a personal best of 30:58. Winning her second World title in 2013, she travelled to the World Championships in Moscow where she represented Kenya in the 10,000m. She will be joined by Belaynesh Oljira — who won the ‘World Best 10K’ in San Juan, and secured a bronze at the 2013 World Cross Country Championships and 2013 World championships. Belaynesh will look to better her personal best of 31:07 that she had earlier recorded in 2010.
Top participants in the long distance and marathon events like Japhet Korir (from Kenya), Belaynesh Oljira, Mamitu Daska — all of who have competed at the best cross country championships and track and road marathons across the globe — are also in the fray.
“I always enjoy running in the World 10K in Bengaluru. The city is good for running. It has a lot of greenery. We have some quality runners and the race will be tough. Mamitu, Ayalew and myself will run our own individual race though we are all from Ethiopia and often train together back home. We expect tough competition from the Kenyan runners,” said the Ethiopian Aselefech.
“We might stick together and then I will try to out sprint them in the final stages,” said Oljira.
The men’s Elite field boasts of some of the finest runners from across the globe. Led by Olympic gold medalist Micah Kogo from Kenya, the line-up also consists of Kogo’s countrymen David Bett (2010 World Junior Championships gold medalist and running his second 10K on the road), Edwin Kiptoo (pacemaker from this year’s Mumbai Marathon) and Dickson Chumba (bronze medalist at the Tokyo Marathon 2015). In 2013, Kogo made his debut in the Boston Marathon, finishing second with an impressive time of 2:10.27. Later that year, he finished fourth in the Chicago Marathon, setting his personal best time of 2:06:56. Micah’s personal best over of 26:35.63 across 10,000m makes him the sixth fastest man ever in the category.