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Elite runners not worried about heat

The race serves as one of the preparatory pit stops for the 14 Kenyans and five Ehiopians on their quest to qualify for the Paris Olympics in 5,000M and 10,000M events for their respective countries.
Last Updated : 26 April 2024, 16:24 IST
Last Updated : 26 April 2024, 16:24 IST

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Bengaluru: The City is currently experiencing one of the worst Aprils in a decade. However, international elite athletes, Kenyans and Ethiopians largely, who are in the city to compete at the TCS World 10K Bengaluru brushed off heat as a factor come Sunday. 

“Hot or cold, we are going to accept it the way it is. We cannot complain about the weather,” said Emmaculate Achol, who ran 28.57 minutes at Valencia in January this year to become the second female ever to run a 10K in less than 29 minutes.

The 24-year-old from Kenya is the favourite to win the women’s race with compatriot Lilian Kasait (personal best 29.32) and Ethiopia’s Lemlem Hailu (PB: 29.59) as her biggest threats.

In the men’s section, Kenya’s Peter Mwaniki, who finished third in Valencia with a timing of 26.59, is the most prolific runner in the competition. His fellow countrymen and friends Bravin Kiptoo (PB: 27.02) and Bravin Kiprop (PB: 27.16) are expected to give Mwaniki a tough fight. 

“No, none of us have seen the course of the race yet. The plan is to wake up tomorrow morning and go for a 6 km jog around 6.30 am then stretch and wait the rest of the day for the actual race the next morning,” said Mwaniki. 

For 23-year-old Kiptoo camaraderie takes a backseat while competing. “Yes, we are all friends but we will not allow each other to win or them to overtake me,” quipped Kiptoo. 

Asked if all of them will be aiming to set a new course record, Kiptoo added: “I don’t know. We might break the record but I’m not promising.” 

The race serves as one of the preparatory pit stops for the 14 Kenyans and five Ehiopians on their quest to qualify for the Paris Olympics in 5,000M and 10,000M events for their respective countries. 

Other international athletes include a few runners from Australia, Bahrain, Japan, Morocco, Netherlands, USA among others. 

The winner of both categories will take home USD 26,000. Shattering the course record - 27.38 held by Kenya’s Nicholas Kimeli in men and 30.35 by Irene Cheptai in the women’s section, both set in 2022 - will attract a bonus of USD 8,000 for the elite champion.

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Published 26 April 2024, 16:24 IST

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