KIPSANG LEADS FIRST KENYAN DOUBLE-SWEEP IN BANGALORE
By Murali Krishnan.
(c) 2011 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
May 27, 2012
An early morning shower, which made the route wet along with a narrow path due to the prolonged metro rail work, left the course records undisturbed. Hence a pre-race prediction of a world lead, in the men's race, became unrealistic.
When the men's event began at a 7:10 a.m., the weather was relatively cooler in Indian conditions but yet two-times more than that of the one the elite runners from Africa experienced in their training bases in abroad.
About fifteen runners were in the front group when they crossed the first kilometer. The group beginning to split in to two, while eight remained in the first bunch when they were running in the cantonment area at the 3rd km. Before the next km arrived the leaders become visible. Dennis Kipruto Kimetto, who set the world best for 25-K earlier this month, did the front running along with Ethiopian Feyisa Lelisa and Moses Kipsiro from Uganda.
The leaders crossed the half-way mark in 13:28 and Kimetto started trailing afterwards. Kipsiro continued the lead along with Kenyans Bernard Koech and Alex Korir during the third quarter of the race.
Two other Kenyans, eventual winner Kipsang and Victor Kipchirchir, surged past the trio in the 8 km mark when the race entered Cubbon Park and remained at the helm of affairs thereafter. With just one kilometer to finish, Korir was once again on the core group and started charging the other two for the top spot.
Kipsang entered the stadium first, with Korir 50m behind and Kipchirchir on their tail. He went on to win the USD 21,000 first place prize clocking exactly 28 minutes, leaving the course record of 27:51 set by Eritrean Zersenay Tadese in the inaugural edition here in 2008 remain intact. It was indeed the fourth fastest time in this race in five years.
"The record, and even a world lead, could have possible had there been an ideal condition," Kipsang said after the race. "I am happy that I stood on top of the podium this time." Korir and Kipchirchir filled the other two places in the podium.
Pre-race favourite Kimetto finished 27th with a time of 30:51 while 2009 winner Deriba Merga from Ethiopia failed in his bid to recapture the title and ended at 51st place in 32:28.
KIPROP TAKES WOMEN'S HONORS
Unlike in the men's race which saw changing of the guard during the course, the women's race went on with straight business between three Kenyans Helah Kiprop, Esther Chemutai and Doris Changeiywo.
Ethiopian Fatuma Sado, runner-up in this year’s Mumbai Marathon who went on to conquer the title in Los Angeles thereafter, gave some challenge to the trio in the middle of the race along with country-mate Selam Abere. However the Kenyans thwarted the challenge as they shifted the pace between themselves.
Kiprop, who came second behind teammate Philes Ongori in the Vattenfall Berlin Half-Marathon earlier this year, made the kick in the last kilometer to finish the race in 32:22. "I could have easily broken the course record had there been anyone to charge me in the final stages of the race," she declared in the post-event press conference.
Grace Momanyi, the joint winner of the inaugural women's race in 2008 who is on her third appearance this year, finished sixth. Momanyi was a Commonwealth Games gold medallist for this distance on track in Delhi, two years ago. However her teammate and Delhi runner-up Changeiywo made it to podium today with a 32:44 clocking while Chemutai finished second, 10 seconds ahead.
Among other pre-race favourites, Ongori finished eighth—one place ahead of last year's runner-up Merima Mohammed of Ethiopia.
RAHUL, MONIKA EMERGE FASTEST AMONGST INDIAN ATHLETES
National junior champion Rahul Kumar Pal, who already qualified for this year’s World junior championships in Barcelona, was top among the Indians when he finished 21st overall in the men’s race in 30:15. The honor went to Monika Athre, who was 17th in the women’s category in a time of 36:46. Pal was a cadet of Pune-based Army Sports Institute while Athre hails from Nasik, another city in Maharashtra. Their top finishes helped Maharastra state to claim the Nations Challenge as the duo clocked 1:37:16 along with teammate Mohammed Yunus, to achieve this honours.
Former Olympic champion Linford Christie was the brand ambassador for this year's TCS World 10K. Arriving here last Thursday, Christie interacted with young enthusiasts from in around Bangalore and explained them the importance of taking part in sports as well as maintaining physical fitness when he attended various programs held in the past three days. "I am happy to be the part of this race organization and looking forward to visit this beautiful country again," he told the media.
Christie, along with Karnataka Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, gave away the prizes to the winners.