Mwaniki, Kasait storm to gold

Well aware of what was to be, Kenya’s Peter Mwaniki set off carrying the burden of being the favourite to win the elite men’s title of the TCS World 10K run.
Last Updated : 28 April 2024, 09:11 IST
Last Updated : 28 April 2024, 09:11 IST

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Bengaluru: When the digital clock at the start line at High Grounds here struck 7:30 am on Sunday, the sun was already beating down with fierce intensity. 

Well aware of what was to be, Kenya’s Peter Mwaniki set off carrying the burden of being the favourite to win the elite men’s title of the TCS World 10K run. 

And the calm 26-year-old achieved the feat in style by cruising past the chasing pack in a measured race to be crowned the men’s champion of the 16th edition of the event.  

Mwaniki remained a part of a pack of eight athletes until the end of first 5km stretch before breaking away in the final 2km stretch to cross the finish line in 28.15 minutes. Kenya’s Hillary Chepkwony (28.33) and Ethiopia’s Hagos Eyob (28.39) were second and third respectively. 

“When the pacemaker fell behind after 2 km, the rest of us tried to push each other,” said Mwaniki during the post-run media interaction. 

“My body was responding well so I decided to break away from Hillary after the 8km mark. Today was a good day for me and I’m proud to be here in Bengaluru and win the race. I’m very happy,” he expressed. 

Earlier, the women’s elite race witnessed a similar comfortable winner in Kenya’s Lilian Kasait but it came with a minor interruption. 

With 3-4 kms remaining, the 26-year-old almost got hit by the time-keeping vehicle which she was following. The car along the Ulsoor lake stretch, turned left of the course for a few meters before the driver realised it to be the wrong direction and pulled back only to come in the way of the runner. 

Without letting the tiny setback affect her rhythm, Kasait picked up pace in the last 2.5 kms to overtake her more fancied compatriot Emmaculate Achol. While the former, with a timing of 30.56, topped the podium, Achol - the second fastest 10K woman runner in the world currently - took the silver (31.17) even as Ehiopia’s Lemlem Hailu won the bronze (31.23). 

There was little differentiating Kasait and Achol until the 7.5km mark (split timing 22.51 and 22.52 respectively). But the latter’s struggles began in the closing moments when she drastically fell back. 

The heat seemed to have taken a toll on Achol moments later when she experienced dizziness due to a drop in her blood sugar level right after the medal ceremony. She was rushed to the hospital and released after being treated and cleared by the medical team, confirmed the organisers.  

Matre, Sanjivani win 

Kiran Matre of Maharashtra completed his 10K run as the best among Indian runners in the elite men’s race and took home a winner's cash prize of Rs 2,75,000 along with a bonus of Rs 1 lakh for setting the new time of 29.32. 

The 23-year-old armyman finished ahead of Ranjeet Kumar Patel (29.35) and Dharmendra (29.45). 

Incidentally, all top four athletes from the country shattered the previous Indian course record of 29.49 set by Suresh Kumar in 2015. 

Local hope and Indian women’s record holder at the event, Sanjivani Jadhav, lived up to the top billing to add to the 2018 title she won here but fell short of bettering her own mark of 33.38 as she completed the race in 34.03. The 800M and 1500M specialist Lilli Das finished second (34.13) while Preenu Yadav was third (34.24).   

Results: Elite men: Peter Mwaniki (Ken) 28.15, 1; Hillary Chepkwony (Ken) 28.33, 2; Hagos Eyob (Eth) 28.39, 3.

Elite women: Lilian Kasait (Ken) 30.56, 1; Emmaculate Achol (Ken) 31.17, 2; Lemlem Hailu (Eth) 31.23, 3.

Indian men: Kiran Matre 29.32, 1; Ranjeet Kumar Patel 29.35, 2; Dharmendra 29.45, 3. Indian women: Sanjivani Jadhav 34.03, 1; Lilli Das 34.13, 2; Preenu Yadav 34.24, 3. 

Published 28 April 2024, 09:11 IST

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