Dire Tune (right) edges Merima Mohammed in Bangalore (© Sean Wallace Jones)
Bangalore, IndiaNew champions emerged while favourites took the back seat in the 4th edition of TCS World 10K at Bangalore as Kenyan Philemon Limo and Ethiopian Dire Tune took the top spots at this IAAF Gold Label Race on Sunday (5).
Defending champion Titus Mbishei was among the small group of Kenyan runners who initially led the men’s race. Mbishei along with compatriots Vincent Kipruto, Emmanuel Kipkemei, Peter Nawowuna and Philemon Limo passed the two kilometres in a slow 5:29. The weather was relatively cool when compared to the previous editions of the race but the humidity was on rise as the runners proceeded further. Limo, who had two identical 27:35 clocking in Rennes and Marseille in 2010 and this year respectively, did the front running after a kilometer with Nawowuna and Leonard Langat, this year’s RAK Half Marathon third place finisher, hanging on to his shoulder.
The leaders passed the three kilometres in 8:16 and were struggling to maintain the course record pace which was mainly due to the slight change in course as a good part of the roads are being dug for a metro rail construction. At the fourth kilometre, Limo broke away from the rest and surged ahead. The timer showed 13:46 midway which ruled out a chance to improve the record.
Limo, the seventh place finisher in this year’s World Cross Country Championship at Punta Umbria, never looked back and all the efforts by Langat to reduce the 10m gap went in vain. As the runners entered the Cubbon Park for the last stages of the race, Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa pushed forward and joined Langat to charge Limo. Langat and Desisa, who is credited with a personal best 27:48 while finished third in the annual Peachtree race at Atlanta last year, made a desperate effort to catch the leader. However Limo increased his tempo on the return journey at Kasturba Road and comfortably entered the stadium first to win in 28:01.
Langat (28:09) and Desisa (28:09) finished second and third respectively.
Defending champion Mbishei and former World record holder Micah Kogo, who posted a world leading time of 27:15 this April, finished 14th (29:33) and 16th (29:46) respectively. “I was tired as the humidity was high, ” was Kogo's reaction. Mbishei, confident to defend his title today, could not figure what went wrong on the appointed day.
National Games champion and national junior record holder Suresh Kumar Patel was first among the Indian finishers (20th overall) and carried a prize purse of INR 200,000 for his effort.
Tune leads Ethiopian sweep in women’s race
A truly world class line up in the women’s division assured to provide a keen contest from the startbeginning. The field included current world leader Doris Changeywo of Kenya at 31:26 just six weeks ago, along with last year’s runner-up and 2009 winner Aselefech Mergia of Ethiopia.
A group of twenty run together in the initial stages before it was reduced to a dozen when they reached the midway point. Ethiopian Dire Tune did the front running and passed five kilometres at 17:19. Teammates Belaynesh Oljira, Ababel Birhane and Tshehay Getio were with her at that stage.
There was a brief change in the leading group as Kenyan Edna Kiplagat, one of the pre-race favourites, with her colleague Fyles Ongori made an attempt to take control of the situation from Tune. But the Ethiopian had no intention of giving up the lead and continued to control. Koren Yal, the reigning Mumbai Marathon winner, joined Tune and country-mates Oljira and Merima Mohammed at eight kilometres.
Eight women entered the stadium together with Mohammed and Oljira running for a strong finish. Tune made a final kick 200 metres before the finish and Merima, who already had two second place showings at Procam-organised Delhi Half Marathon (2010) and Mumbai Marathon (2011), made a frantic effort to push her aside. But an experienced Tune cut fought it off with ease to win the race and pocket the USD 21,000 first prize.
Both Tune and Mohammed clocked 33:19 while Oljira was one second later for the third place to make it an Ethiopian sweep on the podium.
Changeywo (33:26) and Mergia (33:27) finished sixth and seventh respectively behind Yal (33:21) and Ongori (33:22).
An elated Tune thanked the organisers and revealed she was very happy for the elevation from eighth place to win this year at Bangalore. “It was a great race. We could have returned better timings had there been better weather,” she said.
Kavita Raut, last year’s Commonwealth and Asian Games medallist, was the first among the Indian women finishers (16th overall). Asian Steeplechase champion Sudha Singh was second (20th overall).
United Nations Environment Programme joined hands with this year’s title sponsor Tata Consultancy Services as 5 June 5 celebrates World Environment Day.
Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and Bangalore Mayor R. Sharadamma awarded the prizes to the winners.
Ram. Murali Krishnan for the IAAF
1. Philemon Limo KEN 28:01
2. Leonard Langat KEN 28:09
3. Lelisa Desisa ETH 28:13
4. Emmanuel Kipkemei KEN 28:20
5. Vincent Kipruto KEN 28:45
6. Aschealew Meketa ETH 28:47
7. Nicholas Kamakya KEN 28:52
8. Tesfatye Debaba ETH 28:54
9. Sentayehu Merga ETH 29:04
10. Habtamu Fikadu ETH 29:05
11. Shadrack Kosgei KEN 29:22
12. Stephen Mokoka RSA 29:31
13. Ezekiel Jafari TAN 29:32
14. Titus Mbishei KEN 29:33
15. Ali Abdosh ETH 29:44
16. Micah Kogo KEN 29:46
17. Hafid Chani MAR 30:01
18. Solomon Warga ETH 30:05
19. Dereje Hailegiorgis ETH 30:06
20. Suresh Kumar IND 30:17
1. Dire Tune ETH 33:19
2. Merima Mohammed ETH 33:19
3. Belaynesh Oljira ETH 33:20
4. Koren Yal ETH 33:21
5. Fyles Ongori KEN 33:22
6. Doris Changeywo KEN 33:26
7. Aselefech Mergia ETH 33:27
8. Edna Kiplagat KEN 33:35
9. Hilda Kibet NED 33:40
10. Mare Dibaba ETH 33:43
11. Ababel Birhane ETH 33:47
12. Hannah Wanjiru KEN 33:53
13. Workitu Ayano ETH 33:57
14. Hilalia Johannes NAM 34:37
15. Olga Dubrovskaya BLR 35:07
16. Kavita Raut IND 35:09
17. Mary Naali TAN 35:09
18. Tatyana Vilosova RUS 35:14
19. Yehisbalem Mengistu ETH 35:21
20. Sudha Singh 35:28.