GREAT MATCH-UPS AT BUPA LONDON 10,000
By David Monti
(c) 2010 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
Race director Dave Bedford has recruited a small, but very strong,elite field for next Monday's third annual Bupa London 10,000.
On the men's side world road 10-K record holder Micah Kogo of Kenya will take on defending champion and course record holder, Britain's Mo Farah. Kogo won the first edition of the race in 2008 in 28:08, then Farah won last year in a national record 27:50.
"I am very happy to be defending my title," Farah commented through a news release. "It was a great race last year and the British record was a real bonus. But I know it will be even harder this year."
That's because Farah, last year's Spar European Cross Country Championships silver medallist, has to contend with a man who has run 27:01 on the road and 26:35.63 for 10,000m on the track. Kogo, the 2008 Olympic Games bronze medallist at 10,000m, has broken 27:30 at that distance five times. However, Kogo was recently involved in a car accident in Kenya on his way to the airport to compete in the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha. He suffered only minor injuries, but still did not travel to Doha to compete.
Not to be overlooked is Britain's Chris Thompson, whom Bedford has also invited. Running for the Nike Oregon Track Club Elite under coach Mark Rowland in Eugene, Ore., Thompson has cut his 10,000m personal best to 27:29.61 and his road 10-K time to 28:02 this year. He was recently fourth at the Healthy Kidney 10-K in New York City.
"I will have to be on top form again," Farah concluded.
The women's race features a tantalizing match-up between two world champions: Kenyans Linet Masai and Mary Keitany. Masai, just 20, won the world 10,000m title last August in Berlin and is the world junior record holder for 10,000m with a 30:26.50 career best (she's also run 31:08 on the road). She finished second at yesterday's IAAF Diamond League meeting in Shanghai, clocking a personal best 14:31.14 over 5000m. Keitany, last year's IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships gold medallist, will come to London after smashing the world 25-K record in Berlin earlier this month. For 10-kilometers she's run 32:18.07 on the track and 31:09 on the road.
Bedford, who expects race entrants to top 13,000 this year (last year's race had 8305 finishers), was very satisfied with his field.
"We are delighted to have such strong elite fields for our third Bupa London 10,000," Bedford said in a statement. "To have world and Olympic medallists and world record holders on the start line alongside our British champions is a great boost for us. Their presence will add to the excitement and enjoyment for the many thousands who will follow them around this fantastic course."