Geremew, Komon and Robertson confident ahead of Sunday’s race

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Top International Elite Athletes at the TCS World 10K 2017 Meet & Greet on Thursday at event Media Center and also practicing at the Sree Kenteerava Stadium (L to R), Helah Kiprop & Irene Cheptai (Both Kenya), World 10K & 15K World Record Holder Leonard Komon from Kenya, Zane Robertson from New Zealand and two time Champion Mosinet Geremew from Ethiopia.   

 Ethiopia’s defending champion Mosinet Geremew will contest the TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2017 with several ambitions in mind when he stands on the start line of one of the world’s most prestigious 10K races this coming Sunday (21 May).

Firstly, he’ll be aiming for his third successive victory, an unprecedented feat as no other runner – man or woman – has ever won in Bengaluru more than once since the race started in 2008.

Secondly, he’ll be aiming to get back to his thrilling form of 2012 when he twice went under 28 minutes for the distance, culminating in a personal best time of 27:36.

“I love this race and Bengaluru, I have run well here the past two years and there is always a very strong field, and I like to push myself. I am now a confirmed road runner. I feel I have more injuries when I am running on the track, and now a fast marathon is my target after making my debut this year in China [when he finished second at the Xaimen Marathon in 2:10:20]” said Geremew, who has some impressive credentials over shorter distances on the roads to his name.

Alongside him at the press conference on Thursday was the world record holder over 10km, Leonard Komon from Kenya.

Komon struggled with injuries during 2015 and 2016 but has shown significant signs earlier this year of the form that took him to into the record books in 2010 when he ran the 10K in 26:44.

“It’s my first time in India and I am privileged to be here. My training has been going well again now that my injuries are gone. I admit I am a little worried about the weather and the humidity on Sunday, it can make your body weak and it’s a challenge, but I am ready to do my best,” commented Komon.

However, perhaps surprisingly, the heat is not a major concern for New Zealand’s Zane Robertson, who ran his 10km best of 27:28 when winning in Berlin last October, which stood up as the fastest time in the world in 2016.

Robertson has been training in Kenya in recent months. “I’ve trained for hot weather conditions so I might be OK,” he joked.

Robertson, now 27, expanded on his intriguing back story which has meant he has trained in Kenya regularly since he was a teenager.

“In high school, my brother and I didn’t fit in with all the other kids and we joined running clubs.

“We met Kenyan runners and then asked if we could go to train there. They were extremely welcoming, our parents thought we were a little crazy but they supported us. Initially, it was hard, we were only 17, but we are now top of the world and competing with the Africans.

“I don’t think Kenyans have a genetic advantage, it’s how you grow up. Our mother encouraged us to eat right, a natural diet, and we ran to school, we had an active lifestyle and ran cross country barefoot. It’s what you eat and how you train.”

In the sights of all the top men’s runners is the course record of 27:44, set by Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor in 2014.

Irene Cheptai made the headlines when she won the world cross country title in March and the diminutive Kenyan will be having her first competition since that race in Bengaluru.

With a 10km best of 31:45, from 2014, Cheptai’s own target is the women’s course record of 31:48 set by her compatriot Lucy Kabuu three years ago.

“I celebrated my gold medal with my family but now it is time to start competing again. My aim this summer will be the 10,000m at the world championships in London,” commented the quietly-spoken Cheptai.

She will be challenged by fellow Kenyan and 2012 winner Helah Kiprop. “This is actually my sixth time in Bengaluru and I always enjoy the race even if I have not won since my first time. I finished second last year so maybe I can win again this year,” said the 2015 world championships marathon silver medallist.

In addition to the TCS World 10K for elite runners, there is an Open 10K, the Majja Run (6km) the Senior Citizens’ Race and Champions with Disability Race (both 4km).

The USD 2,05, 059 event will see more than 24,000 runners take to the roads of Bengaluru for the five different races in what has become an annual event on the third Sunday in May and which has emerged as Asia’s leading run over distance in the last nine years

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