Sunfeast World 10K: Mbishei makes his mark

Ethiopian Wude powers to womens title

Sunfeast World 10K: Mbishei makes his mark

Tenacious: Titus Mbishei of Kenya en route to the men’s title at the World 10K on Sunday. DH Photo/ Kishor Kumar BolarMbishei, a world junior silver medallist in 10000M two years ago, controlled the race superbly from the front to come home in a time of 27 minutes and 54 seconds, slightly off the event record of 27:51 set by Zersenay Tadese two years back.

Kenya’s great rivals, Ethiopia, were not to be denied, however, as Yimer Wude outsprinted compatriot and defending champion Aselefech Mergia to win the women’s title in 31:58, a new event record.

Kenya, the tartars of long-distance running, had taken a few blows to their pride in recent times, mainly from Ethiopia. But at the World Championships last year and also at the World Cross-Country this year, the Kenyans have had the measure of their African opponents.

Only 19, Mbishei is part of the fresh wave and he showed amazing maturity to notch only his second win in a road race, outclassing a field that included defending champion Deriba Merga and Paris marathon winner Tadese Tola.

Ugandan Moses Kipsiro, second in the first World 10K, was convincingly beaten to second place again in 28:08 while another Kenyan Feyisa Lelisa, a rising star on the marathon scene, was third in 28:23, just ahead of Merga.

Mbishei had come first at the Great Edinburgh Run on May 3 but he wasn’t among the pre-race favourites here, with the spotlight firmly on Merga, Kipsiro, Tola and Wilson Kipsang, the third-place winner in Paris. But as the race began in cool conditions, the tall Mbishei quickly demanded attention, staying in front of the lead pack at all times.
Merga, who arrived only on Saturday evening, remained with the leaders that included Titus Masai and Edwin Kipkorir of Kenya, Mo El Hachimi of Morocco and Lelisa as they crossed the 3km mark in 8:28. Travel-weariness was clearly apparent in Merga’s strides as the runners hitYimer Wude the half-way mark in 13:54, and he started slowly slipping back after six kilometres.

Mbishei and Kipsiro then started pulling away and by the time the runners reached the final two kilometres, the Kenyan had more or less sealed the top place. He looked stronger of the two and had plenty in reserve as the duo ran into the Sree Kanteerava stadium. Kipsiro, assured of the second place, didn’t have the wherewithal to push Mbishei and the Kenyan sprinted away to nail the first prize of $21,000

The women’s event was more closely fought with the pack staying together for he tbetter part of the race. The half-way point was reached in 16:13 and as the weather turned hotter, a contest began to develop between Kenyan Grace Momanyi, Wude, Mergia and Ethiopians Koren Yal and Aberu Kebede. Elvan Abeylegesse, champion along with Momanyi in the first year here, started fading away to eventually finish 11th while the top five pushed hard with Momanyi in front.

Leading into the stadium, it turned into a three-way fight between Mergia, Momanyi and Wude, the last-named powering ahead once inside the stadium. Mergia couldn’t match that finishing sprint and had to settle for silver in a career-best 32:00, leaving Momanyi (32:05) to pick up the bronze.

Results

Elite Men: Titus Mbishei (KEN) 27:54, 1; Moses Kipsiro (UGA) 28:08 2; Feyisa Lelisa (KEN) 28:23, 3; Deriba Merga (ETH) 28:32, 4; Edwin Kipkorir (KEN) 28:35 5.
Women: Yimer Wude (ETH) 31:58, 1; Aselefech Mergia (ETH) 32:00, 2; Grace Momanyi (KEN) 32:05, 3; Koren Yal (ETH) 32:17, 4; Aberu Kebede (ETH) 32:21 5.
Indian Men: Sunil Kumar 30:47 (overall 21st) 1; Arvind Kumar Yadav 30:47 (overall 22nd) 2; Santosh Kumar 30:50 (overall 23rd) 3.
Indian Women: Preeti L Rao 37:47 (overall 21st) 1; M Sudha 39:25 (overall 22nd) 2; Kamlesh Baghel 39:43 (overall 24th) 3.

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