BENGALURU:There is something special about World Half Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor when it comes to World 10K Bengaluru, as was once again witnessed on Sunday.The Kenyan (28:18s) beat the competitive elite field by 20 seconds, becoming the first person to win the men’s title thrice. His fellow countrywoman Agnes Tirop brought her A game to the fore to create a new course record (31:19s), while India’s Sanjivani Jadhav clocked 33:38s to become a new record holder in the Indian elite women’s race.
Buoyed by his last win in Valencia, Kamworor was at ease throughout, shifting gears after the halfway mark. Others in the pack, including defending champion Alex Korio (fourth), began to play catch up.
As the race progressed towards the final few kilometres, it was certain that Kamworor would win the title, but he could not shatter his own course record (27:44s). “I was well prepared and came here thinking of breaking the course record. I could not do so because of the humidity.,” said Kamworor. “It motivates me to come again next time.”
The story was different for second spot, which had a difference of one second. Birhanu Legese (28:38s) finished second while the two-time champion Mosinet Geremew (28:39s) was third.
The women’s competition was really tight. Initially the likes of Netsanet Gudeta — who led the pack — Caroline Kipkirui, Senbere Teferi and Tirop were together, and things got interesting after the midway stages.
It was in the last 500m that the tussle for top spot was between Teferi and Tirop, who brought her finishing instinct to the fore.“I had trained well but I did not expect to win as it was such a strong field. Maybe my chances were 50-50. The Ethiopians made the pace in the first half and I was comfortable, following them,” said Tirop.
Though all eyes were on the international field, Sanjivani grabbed some attention, getting the better of few foreign runners and creating an Indian record. “I know that Kavita di (Kavita Raut) will be pleased that I broke her record, as I have looked upto her for many years,” she said. Swati Gadhave and Kiranjeet Kaur finished second and third. In Indian elite men, it was Suresh Kumar who won, while Man Singh and Shankar Man Thapa finished second and third.