Joyce Chepkirui returns to the ASICS Grand 10 in Berlin on Sunday (12) with the aim of putting herself on the top of the pile for the 10km distance on the roads this year.
The 26-year-old Kenyan is the defending champion and course record-holder. A year ago, she clocked 30:37 to become the sixth-fastest 10km runner ever, missing Paula Radcliffe’s world record by just 16 seconds.
The primary goal in the women’s race will be to improve on the 2014 list-leading time of 30:46, recently established by Kenya’s Betsy Saina in the Dutch city of Tilburg.
However Chepkirui will face a strong challenge from two outstanding compatriots.
Emily Chebet is the reigning world cross-country champion. She won at the last edition of the championships in 2013 for a second time after her first victory in 2010.
Chebet’s personal best over 10km stands at 30:58.
Margaret Wangari came back from injury in the spring with a 10km win in the German town of Wuerzburg, where she ran a 31:14 course record and missed her personal best by just nine seconds, and she could also be a threat.
A year after a thrilling duel in the Prague 10km race, Kenya’s Daniel Chebii and Ethiopia’s Kinde Atanaw will clash over this distance again in the men’s race.
It was Chebii who won in Prague with a personal best of 27:35 but he was only one second ahead of Atanaw, who ran a personal best in the Czech capital as well.
The personal record of Wilson Too is just a few seconds slower this duo and the Kenyan will also be keen to make his mark in Berlin. He showed good form over the distance earlier this year when he won in Laredo, Spain with 27:39.
German interest will focus on Arne Gabius who will use the race as a test ahead of his marathon debut in Frankfurt on 26 October. The 33-year-old 2012 European 5000m silver medallist intends to improve on his personal best of 28:35. Gabius had a fine half marathon debut in March, when he placed eighth in New York with 1:02:09.
Organisers for the IAAF