Joyce Chepkirui clocks 30:37 to win the ASICS Berlin 10km (© BERLIN RUNS / Thomas Wenning)
Joyce Chepkirui produced a superb run in taking the ASICS Grand 10 in Berlin this Sunday (13) as the Kenyan stormed to a winning time of 30:37, the sixth-fastest ever in a 10km on the roads.
The 25-year-old not only smashed the course record but also broke the German all-comers’ record, running 20 seconds faster than Irina Mikitenko’s time set five years ago in Karlsruhe. She was also just 16 seconds shy of Paula Radcliffe’s World record.
Leonard Komon took the men’s race for a fourth consecutive time, clocking 27:48 – more than a minute outside his own World record.
In cool (11°C) but dry conditions with a slight wind, Chepkirui took the lead with a fast pace right from the start with Ethiopia’s Tadelech Bekele just a step behind. The pair passed the 5km mark in 15:05, putting them inside World-record pace.
Chepkirui slowed in the second half, but continued to lead from Bekele for the whole race. She crossed the line in 30:37, improving her PB by one second and the course record by more than one-and-a-half minutes.
Bekele finished just a second behind in 30:38, smashing her PB by more than two minutes and moving to equal seventh on the world all-time list. No women has ever run so fast and not won.
“I’m very happy to have set a personal best,” said Chepkirui. “Conditions were not quite ideal because it was a bit cold, but we still managed to run a relatively even and fast pace. I think I am able to run even faster.”
Switzerland’s Fabienne Schlumpf took third in a personal best of 33:16.
Komon pleased to successfully defend title
The pace in the men’s race was not as spectacular as the women’s. No one wanted to take the initiative in the first few kilometres and the pace was slower than planned.
It was then Leonard Komon who took the lead after four kilometres and opened a significant gap. The 25-year-old, who set the Berlin course record in 2010 with 27:12, won comfortably in 27:48.
Ethiopia’s Adugna Takele, the current world-leader with his 27:30 in March, finished second in 28:06.
“I am happy to have won again in Berlin and to have beaten Adugna Takele, the fastest in the world this year,” said Komon, who achieved his fourth win in a row at the ASICS Grand 10 Berlin.
Kenya’s Richard Mengich and Philemon Cheboi finished third and fourth in 28:13 and 28:19 respectively, while Eritrea’s Simon Tesfay was further behind in fifth in 29:09. Germany’s Andre Pollmacher was sixth in 29:11.
“We had another great race in every aspect,” said race director Gerhard Janetzky.
Jorg Wenig (organisers) for the IAAF