Kenya’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games 10,000m silver medallist Paul Tanui and his compatriot Nicolas Kipkorir Kimeli, who was fourth in 5000m at Tokyo Olympics last summer will be among the top attractions at the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) World 10K Bengaluru 2022 tobe run on May 15.
The full elite field for the 14th edition of the World Athletics Elite Label Race was revealed here on Monday.
Prestigious additions already named include Muktar Edris, Kibiwott Kandie, and Tadese Worku in the men’s race; Hellen Obiri, Irene Cheptai, and Joyce Tele in the women’s race.
Paul Tanui’s road racing record is rather modest, his personal best of 28:39 was when he finished sixth in the 2019 10K at Bangalore, but on the track, the Japan-based runner has an outstanding record and has a best of 26:49.41.
In addition to his Rio silver medal, Paul Tanui has three World Athletics Championships 10,000m bronze medals to his name as well as a World Cross Country Championships silver medal.
His younger compatriot Kipkorir Kimeli was the 2017 African U20 10,000m champion on the track and will arrive in Bengaluru in very good shape after running 12:55 for 5km on the road last month.
Fellow Kenyan Bravin Kipkogei succeeded Kipkorir Kimeli as the African U20 10,000m champion in 2019 and made a big impression when he finished sixth in the famous 2020 Valencia Half Marathon, in which Kandie set a world record of 57:32, despite having been originally employed as a pacemaker.
Kipkogei has raced sparingly in 2021 and 2022 but has the pedigree to make an impact in Bengaluru.
A third notable Kenyan addition to the men’s field is Matthew Kimeli, who ran 58:43 for the half marathon last year and has already had three outings over that distance in 2022, culminating in a win in Herzogenaurach, Germany in 59:30 just nine days ago.
Another man in great shape at the moment is the 2015 world U20 cross country champion Yasin Haji, from Ethiopia — who has twice run 27:00 for 10km in recent weeks, firstly in the French city of Lille in March and then in Herzogenaurach.
In total eight men in this year’s field have run faster — either on the track or the roads, than Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor course record of 27:44 which dates back to 2014.
In the women’s race, a number of young and very talented road runners from Kenya and Ethiopia have been added to the elite field to challenge the three well-known names that have already been announced.
Faith Cherono, from Kenya, is just 19 and had a sensational international debut less than two months ago when she stunned onlookers with a superb win over 10km in Lille in 31:06. She followed that up by improving to 30:50 in Herzogenaurach, the organisers Procam International informed in a release on Tuesday.
Ethiopia’s Tesfaye Nigsti is only two seconds slower than Cherono over 10km and has been in good form in half marathons recently, clocking a personal best of 1:06:17 in Valencia last October and going close to that mark twice in March, her only two races in 2022 before the Bengaluru 10K.
Seven women in this year’s TCSW10K have personal bests quicker than the course record of 31:19 set by Kenya’s Agnes Tirop in 2018.
The TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2022 has a total prize fund of US$210,000, with the men’s and women’s winners taking home USD 26,000 and course record bonuses of an additional USD 8,000 on offer.
“The world has had to wait three years because of the pandemic since the last TCS World 10K. This is the 14th edition of this fantastic race, and I am feeling very honoured because many of the world’s best distance runners have committed to coming back to India to make this one of the best events in the world over this distance,” commented Vivek Singh, joint managing director of race promoters Procam International.
(Inputs from IANS)