Kimeli, Cheptai smash course records to win TCS World10K


Bengaluru, May 15: Kenya's Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli and Irene Cheptai smashed the course records to win top honours at the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) World 10K Bengaluru here on Sunday.
Kimeli, fourth in the Tokyo Olympics 5000m event, and Cheptai ran course records of 27:38 and 30:35, in men's and women's category respectively at the World Athletics Elite Label Race.
Kimeli reduce the record by six seconds from the previous mark set by his compatriot Geoffrey Kamworor in 2014.
The race started off in an unusual manner with Kenya's Reynold Kipkorir out on his own for much of the first 5km.
However, shortly after going through 5km, Tadese Worku changed gear and started to rapidly tow the leading men and Kimeli continued running just behind him.
As they reached the final kilometre Worku couldn't respond when Kimeli took the lead, with the latter almost sprinting like a middle-distance runner over the final 300 metres.
Kimeli crossed the line in 27:38 with Worku also inside the old record with 27:43 while the Kenyan pre-race favourite, and former world half marathon record holder, Kibiwott Kandie made up three places in the final two kilometres and came through for third in 27:57. Honestly, I was not expecting to get the course record. But only when Worku pushed ahead, I picked up pace towards the end, reflected Kimeli.
In the women's race, Cheptai took an even bigger slice out of the course record which had stood to the late Agnes Tirop at 31:19 since 2018.
After a super-fast opening two kilometres of 3:02 and 3:04, a quick time was always likely and the race was soon down to just three women at the front: Cheptai, Obiri and fellow Kenyan Joyce Tele.
Tele started to lose contact with her compatriots in the fifth kilometre before Obriri, pushing the pace with Cheptai running in her slipstream, passed the halfway point in 15:15.
With 250 metres to go, Cheptai darted past Obiri crossing the line in a personal best of 30:35, her first time inside 31 minutes.
Obiri finished with an outstanding 30:44 while Tele was a distant third in 31:47 to complete an all-Kenyan podium.
When we raced through an inclined patch on the route [just after 7km], I felt like Hellen's pace reduced, that's when I tried harder to take lead. But even when I entered the stadium for the final lap, I was fearing Hellen and kept pushing my speed to win, commented Cheptai.
Kipkorir Kimeli and Cheptai both take home first place cheques of USD 26,000 for their victories and course record bonuses of USD 8000.

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