BENGALURU : The World 10K Bengaluru is a prestigious race which has grown over the years. It can be fathomed from the field of elite athletes, who will be in action in the 11th edition, on Sunday. Among the stars, current World Half Marathon champions Geoffrey Kamworor (men’s) and Netsanet Gudeta (women’s) are going to make it a glitterati affair, when they line-up at the starting point in Kanteerva Stadium. Neither are new to the event.
Netsanet finished sixth in 2006, while Geoffrey won it in 2012 and 2014. The Kenyan also holds the course record (27:44) and is looking in top form, after victory in the IAAF World Half Marathon in Valencia in March. He has won the world title thrice in succession. The 26-year-old explained how he motivates himself after victories. “I was the defending champion for the event. I was aware of the strong field and that motivated me.
Winning a race, crossing the finish line, is like the start of a new race. After every competition, I just maintain the same passion and motivation,” said Geoffrey. His only run in 2018 has been in Valencia, after which he took rest to prepare for the World 10K. “I was looking forward to coming back to Bangalore and I expect it to be a great race on Sunday. After World Half Marathon, I took a bit of rest but and then began training for this one. It’s a strong field and there is great support from the city as well.”
Geoffrey’s win in Valencia was not a surprise, but the same cannot be said for Netsanet, who was below-par in her previous two races. She did not finish the Dubai Marathon (January, 2018) and ended sixth in Paris (April, 2017). But what followed in Valencia surprised the race fraternity. The Ethiopian shattered the world record, thus clinching a first global title as well. Every race and city brings new challenges, in terms of temperature and conditions.
This 27-yearold seems to have found the conditions hot in the city, but is keen to give her best. “Running on Sunday, I’m going to push myself to do my best and that’s all that matters. I will try and improve my time (Gudeta recorded her own personal best of 31:35 in Canada last May). The course itself doesn’t affect me, but when the weather is good, that helps me stay more motivated. In Valencia, it was very cold and rainy, but I think Bengaluru will be different. It’s hotter and the surface is different as well. It’s something I look forward to,” said Netsanet. With both world champions in form and raring to go, it could be a close contest with other big names like Alex Korio, Mosinet Geremew (both men) and Agnes Tirop (women) in the fray. email@example.com