Stephen Ogari leads the field at the 20 Kilometres de Paris (© Organisers)
Three men who made the podium but missed out on victory at recent editions of the 20 Kilometres de Paris will return to the IAAF Bronze Label Road Race on Sunday (11) with a view to improve on their past performances.
Last year’s winners, Ethiopia’s Muhajr Haredin Sraj and Kenya’s Rose Chelimo, will not defend their crowns. But their absence opens up the race.
The Kenyan Ogari twins, Stephen and Charles, are both familiar with the course. Stephen was second last year in 58:29 while Charles finished in the same position one year prior in 58:08.
Their compatriot Alfred Cherop also cannot be discounted. Last weekend he easily won the Hancy Half Marathon and has twice finished third at the 20 Kilometres de Paris, clocking 58:20 in 2012 and 58:24 in 2013.
Ethiopia’s Getachew Jemaneh Tedla showed good form when finishing third over 16km two weeks ago at La Classique Paris-Versailles and is expected to be in contention for victory on Sunday.
Although he hasn’t shown his best form in his last races – he finished a distant ninth behind Jemaneh and Cherop over 10km in Langueux in June – Ezechiel Nizigiymana is the only former winner in the field. The Burundian won in 2012 in 58:12.
Kenyan athletes have won the women’s race at the 20 Kilometres de Paris at the past nine editions, and that trend looks set to continue on Sunday.
Steeplechase specialist Nancy Kimaiyo has moved up to the half marathon this autumn and has won both of her races over 13.1 miles, clocking 1:11:48 in Montbeliard in September and 1:10:54 in Nancy earlier this month.
Alexandra Louison, one of the leading French contenders who finished sixth last year, has been forced to withdraw due to injury.
The men’s course record of 57:19 is held by Kenya’s Evans Cheruiyot, which he set in 2009. The women’s record was set last year by Chelimo when she clocked 1:05:01 to take her second win.
The start will take place at Pont Iena, near the Eiffel Tower. The course loops through inner Paris, passing the Trocadero, Boulogne and Quais de Seine before the finish line at Quai Branly, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.
Quentin Guillon for the IAAF