Bengaluru, April 29: Kenyas Agnes Tirop will defend her title –- a feat never achieved before in the womens race since the TCS World 10K was inaugurated in 2008 –- in the 12th edition of the TCS World 10K slated to be held on May 19.
In 2018, Tirop set a course record of 31:19 after managing to shake off Ethiopia’s Senbere Teferi with just 250 metres to go.
Teferi, who won the RAK Half Marathon earlier this year in a national record 1:05:45, is also back while other familiar faces on the start line include Kenya’s Caroline Kipkirui and Ethiopia’s 2018 world half marathon champion Netsanet Gudeta, who were third and fourth in 2018.
Meanwhile, Kenya’s Geoffrey Koech and Vincent Kiprotich Kibet finished 2018 as the third and fifth fastest men over 10km in the world last year with 27:18 and 27:21 respectively, both times considerably faster than the TCS World 10K course record of 27:44 set by their compatriot Geoffrey Kamworor in 2014.
Koech, the fastest man in the field, hasn’t been in quite the same sparkling form in his two outings so far this year, both half marathons, but is hoping that dropping down distance will pay dividends but Kiprotich Kibet has already won one major 10km race this year, winning the famous Würzburger Residenzlauf in Germany in 27:35 on 14 August.
Ethiopian duo Birhanu Legese and Andamlak Belihu both know what it’s like to win on Indian roads having respectively won the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K and Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in December and October last year.
Legese, second in Bengaluru last year, has also started the year in winning fashion by taking the honours at the Tokyo Marathon in an impressive 2:04:48 in March while the 20-year-old Belihu was eighth at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
The TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2019 has a total prize fund of US$213,000, with the men’s and women’s winners taking home US$26,000.