Beating very hot and humid conditions, Mosinet Geremew and Peres Jepchirchir powered to impressive victories at the ninth TCS World 10K in Bengaluru on Sunday (15).
Taking control of the race in the eighth kilometre, Geremew held on to win in 28:36 to become the first athlete to secure back-to-back titles in Bengaluru.
Jepchirchir, the reigning world half marathon champion, broke from the field in the seventh kilometre to win in 32:15, 13 seconds clear of her Kenyan compatriot Helah Kiprop.
Given the difficult conditions – a start time temperatures of nearly 33 C along with 90 percent humidity—both races began conservatively, particularly the women’s which consisted of the finest field ever assembled in India’s high-tech capital.
Expecting the conditions to take their toll, Jepchirchir decided to run from the front early on in an effort to control the race. Her prediction proved correct: after just five kilometres, covered in a modest 16:31, only seven women remained in contention. A kilometre later that number was reduced to three: Jepchirchir, Rio-bound marathoner Kiprop and Ethiopian Wude Yimer, the race winner in 2010.
Just beyond the 7K marker Jepchirchir made her bold break, building a nine-second lead by 8K and extending it to 13 seconds with one kilometre to go. Never threatened, she maintained that margin through the finish to collect her fourth victory in as many races this year and a check for US$23,000, one of the largest 10K paydays in the world.
“The weather really was hot, but when I saw on my watch how slow the first three kilometres were, I said to myself, ‘let me push’. So I pushed,” said Jepchirchir, who followed up her victory at the World Half Marathon Championships with a win at the Yangzhou Half Marathon just three weeks ago. Those recent victories, she said, laid the foundation for the confidence she displayed in the race’s second half. “After seven kilometres I saw that I’m still strong, so knew that if I continued like this, I’ll win.”
Kiprop finished second in 32:28 with Yimer, a former course record holder and runner-up here last year, third in 32:33.
A different kind of drama played out in the men’s contest.
After a cautious pace in the early stages did little to break up the lead pack of 12, Mule Wasihum, a sub-2:06 marathoner, decided to take matters into his own hands. The 23-year-old Ethiopian made a big move in the 12th minute, opening a gap of some 30 metres on his nearest pursuer and he held on to a six-second lead after eight kilometres. But with the sun beating down, he soon paid for his impatience.
Slowing markedly, he was eventually caught by Geremew when the clock read 25 minutes even, at which point the defending champion took command.
Tailed by Kenyan John Langat and Bonsa Dida until the trio entered the Shree Kanteerava stadium for a final lap on the track, Geremew valiantly fended them off for his second successive one-second victory and a winner’s check for $23,000.
“It was different this year because it was very hot,” said Geremew, who like Jepchirchir arrived in Bengaluru on the heels of a win at the Yangzhou Half Marathon. “But at 9K I was sure that I would win.”
Despite the heat, he added with a smile, “I think I will come back next year.”
Langat clocked 28:37, with Ethiopia’s Dida third in 28:42.
Amongst the Indian Male elite runners, the race was a very apparent ‘sprinters race’ with no clear leader till beyond the 8KM mark where it looked liked the defending champion Suresh Patel would retain his crown, till Lakshmanan G sprinted forward in the last one KM stretch within the Kanteerava Stadium. Lakshmanan who clocked a 30:34 was all praise for the new course only hoping for an earlier start time to avoid the harsh morning sun, sharing “It was a very tough race because until the last 500 metres, the leader kept shifting between, Suresh, myself and Nitendra. I was only able to take the lead in the last 500 metres which is why the gap between me and Suresh was only 2 seconds.”
Olympic Qualifier Nitendra Singh Rawat, who came in third at 30:53 was honest about his lack of experience in a short distance run, stating, “I planned my run like I would plan a marathon, building pace for the first half of the run, followed by a sprint in the second half. This did not work as planned, , as I stayed with the pack for the majority race, however, when they made their final sprints, I was unable to keep up with the winner – but this was a great race.”
Swati Gadhave led the race from start to finish, ending her 10KM sprint, at 34:45 more than a minute ahead of second place Sanjeevani Yadav who clocked 36:13. Swati paced with the International Elite Athletes running with their pack through most of the race much to the viewers delight and ended amongst the top ten overall Women Finishers.
Recounting her thoughts on the race, Swati said, “ The climate wasn’t an issue, even though I landed only last night from Denmark after international competition.” Coming a distant second to Swathi, was Sanjeevani Jadhav at 36:13 who was delighted with her finish, and honored to be running amongst some of the most respected women in her category. Completing the trio on the podium was Meenu at 37:18 whose youthful exuberance was the clear reason she was amongst the top three. The women weren’t as critical of the humid Bengaluru weather on offer as the men but the exertion of the athletes was clear as everyone looked exhausted post crossing the finish line.
Overall Elite Men:
Mosinet Geremew (ETH) 00:28:36; John Langat (KEN) 00:28:37; Bonsa Dida (ETH) 00:28:42; Abdallah Mande (UGA) 00:28:46; Alex Korio (KEN) 00:28:49; Geofry Korir (KEN) 00:28:57; Nicholas Rotich (KEN) 00:29:06; Gideon Kipketer (KEN) 00:29:09; Mule Wasihun (ETH) 00:29:15; Fredrick Kipkosgei (KEN) 00:29:34.
Overall Elite women:
Peres Jepchirchir (KEN) 00:32:15; Helah Kiprop (KEN) 00:32:28; Wude Yimer (ETH) 00:32:33; Edith Chelimo (KEN) 00:32:50; Rose Chelimo (KEN) 00:32:54; Jackline Chepngeno (KEN) 00:32:57; Linet Masai (KEN) 00:33:25; Magdalyne Masai (KEN) 00:34:06; Swati Gadhave (IND) 00:34:45; Agnes Tirop (KEN) 00:35:08.
G. Lakshmanan (Overall 15) 00:30:34; Suresh Kumar (Overall 16) 00:30:36; Nitender Singh Rawat (Overall 17) 00:30:53; M D Yunus (Overall 18) 00:30:55; Abhishek Pal (Overall 19) 00:31:04; Durga Bahadur Budha 00:31:07; Srinu Bugatha 00:31:09; Arjun Pradhan 00:31:10; Harshad Mhatre 00:31:18; Anish Thapa 00:31:19.
Swati Gadhave (Overall 9) 00:34:45; Sanjeevani Jadhav (Overall 13) 00:36:13; Meenu (Overall 14) 00:37:18; Manisha Salunkhe (Overall 15) 00:37:22; Phoolan Pal (Overall 16) 00:38:08; Jyoti Jangbahadur Chouhan 00:38:23; Jayashree Boragee 00:38:55; Manju Yadav 00:39:18; Kiran Sahdev 00:39:33; Sindhu Yadav 00:39:51.
Men: open 10k challenge (15 to 20 yrs.)
Rahul Patil 00:35:56; Vijay Bhagat 00:36:24; Maroti Jadhav 00:37:06.
(20 to 25 yrs.)
Mahesh Wadhai 00:34:38; Ramesh Nil 00:34:57; Aslesh Kumar 00:35:21.
(25 to 30 yrs.)
Shailesh Gangoda 00:33:55; Nanjundappa Mun 00:34:25; Rajasekar R 00:35:22.
(30 to 35 yrs.)
Manju Vekatesha 00:33:26; Naresh Kumar 00:34:33; Sahadat Ali 00:36:06
(35 to 40 yrs.)
Jagmal Ramchander 00:33:07; Athreya Chidambi 00:37:41; Kumar Rajamani 00:39:04.
(40 to 45 yrs.)
Bhaskar Kambale 00:35:53; Raj Pal 00:36:38; Harun Ali 00:37:56
(45 to 50 yrs.)
Dinesh Kumar 00:36:24; Thomas Philip 00:36:51; Mohamed Idris 00:37:33
(50 to 55 yrs.)
Ash Nath 00:39:48; Srinath S 00:45:18; Satyaseshasai Casukhela 00:47:22
(55 to 60 yrs.)
Pandurang Chougule 00:40:05; Ramasamy Namachivayam 00:42:04;
Kothandapani KC 00:43:22
(60 to 65 yrs)
Sabhajeet Yadav 00:43:59; Subhashchand Khatri 00:46:25; Madhusudan Panda 00:48:51
(65 to 70 yrs.)
Naval Kishor Yadav 00:43:46; Vuggina Suryaprakasarao 00:48:24; Manjunatha Aithal 00:51:22
(70 and above)
Vijaya Kumar Surya 00:56:08; Gurudayal Singhyadav 00:59:07; Venkataraman Krishna 01:01:49
Women: Open 10K Challenge (15 to 20 Yrs.)
Dimpal Rajwade 00:42:42; Kalaiselvi L 00:44:36; Bharati Dudhe 00:48:21.
(20 to 25 Yrs.)
Shruthi K C 00:40:26; Kiyana Mirza 00:46:57; Anandi P 00:47:12.
(25 to 30 Yrs.)
Thippavva Sannakki 00:39:57; Chandrawati Rajwade 00:42:04; Kaylea Brase 00:45:31.
(30 to 35 Yrs.)
Ankita Gaur 00:48:52; Dr. Zainab Shoaib 00:52:21; Seema Verma 00:53:12.
(35 to 40 Yrs.)
Lalita Madhwal 00:42:31; Shwetaambari Shetty 00:47:37; Shilpi Sahu 00:47:48.
(40 to 45 Yrs.)
Francesea Leighton 00:47:11; Neera Katwal 00:48:03; Bhagwati Kailash Chand 00:48:18.
(45 to 50 Yrs.)
Vaishali Kasture 00:48:55; Gurmeet Bhalla 00:50:56; Shantha Belliappa 00:52:30.
(50 to 55 Yrs.)
Geetha Biju 00:56:27; Siobhan Boyer 00:57:48; Chitra Dinakar 01:02:14.
(55 to 60 Yrs.)
Shamala Manmohan 00:52:29; Lise Lotte Marie Bomman 01:01:26; Neenu Agarwal 01:20:08.
(60 to 65 Yrs.)
Sharada Venkataraman 01:07:56; Raji Srikant 01:11:33; Githa Thimmaiah 01:15:28.
(65 to 70 Yrs.)
Shamala Vijai 01:49:06.
Jabong Running Costume:
1st – Radhavendra Kumar (Save Trees)
2nd – Raj (Donate Organs)
3rd – Jitender Kumar
1st – Shrimad Rajchandra Love & Care (Empowering Education)
2nd – Giftabled Foundation