Dickson Marwa from Tanzania will return to defend his title in the METRO 10Km, an IAAF Silver Label Road race, on Saturday (11) in the Czech capital.
"The race takes place in a beautiful city, full of rich, opulent beauty, with an epic history," said Marwa, who clocked 28:24 last year. The 28-year-old has a 28:01 career best on the roads over the distance and 27:38.58 on the track. "If the weather and course conditions are good, I will be trying my best to run a really fast time."
Organisers are also expecting that at least two other runners will finish inside 28 minutes: Wilfred Taragon (27:30) who won in Prague in 2007 and Joseph Birech (27:51), both from Kenya. They cannot expect to get things all their own way, however, as the generation of young upcoming runners will be represented by the excellent 18-year-old runner from Ethiopia, Adihana Gebretsadik (28:03), who was the silver medallist in the 10,000m in this year’s World Junior Championship. Another dangerous contestant could be the established Kenyan marathon runner, Gilbert Kirwa, who has a 2:06:14 Marathon best and the second fastest man ever over 25Km at 1:11.58, which he set this year in Berlin.
Leading the European charge will be Stsiapan Rahatsou from Belarus (28:25) and Adam Drazcynski from Poland (29:21), whilst the title of Czech champion will probably be decided between the ever popular Robert Stefko, and his trainee, Jan Kreisinger. Young runner Milan Kocourek, who will premier in the TESCO Prague Grand Prix race, could figure in the mix for national honors.
In the adidas Women ´s 5Km the favourite to win is sure to be the defending champion, Kenyan Gladys Otero.
“I am in good shape after running my first marathon a few months ago in Hannover and coming home second," said Otero, who clocker her 15:45 career best in Prague last year. "I prepared well and did good speed work but I am not sure whether I can break the course record. If the weather is good, who knows!"
She can expect a challenge from the experienced Tanzanian Zakia Mrisho, who has a 14:43.87 career best over the distance on the track. Poland's Karolina Jarzynska, fourth here two years ago, may also figure prominently.
Leading the domestic charge will be Petra Kaminkova and Marcela Lustigova, while Ivana Sekyrova, who recently won the World masters title in the 35-40 category in the Polish town of Korbielo´w.