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Monday, 16 May 2016

Geremew and Jepchirchir are champions


Mosinet Geremew became the first athlete to secure back-to-back titles at the TCS World 10k here on Sunday. The Ethiopian finished in a time of 28:36, a full 20 seconds slower than his 2015 effort, but one achieved under tougher conditions. John Langat of Kenya was next, a second behind Geremew and Bonsa Dida of Ethiopia came third, a further five seconds away.

On the women’s side, Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir, the reigning World half-marathon champion, ran a first-rate race, winning in 32:15. Compatriot Helah Kiprop, finished number two but was 13 seconds behind. Ethiopia’s Wude Yimer took third spot in 32:33.
Swati Gadhave, meanwhile, came agonisingly close to shattering the Indian women’s course record of 34:32 set by Kavita Raut in 2009. Swati looked all set to take home the additional record bonus of Rs. 50,000 until she mistook a group of people attending to an injured athlete to be the finish line. She did recover and made a dash towards the end, but only to be 13 seconds late.
Nonetheless, it was an impressive finish in the top 10, even ahead of World cross-country champion Agnes Tirop, and came on the back of her recent Federation Cup and World Railway Games successes. G. Lakshmanan, the Federation Cup 5000 and 10,000m winner, crossed the tape first among Indian men in a time of 30:34s.
Even as all athletes accepted that the course was easier than last year, the high temperature and humidity levels perhaps nullified the advantage. Ethiopian Mule Wasihun found that out the hard way, finishing ninth after having been the runaway leader for two-thirds of the race. In between, he was inexplicably guided onto a wrong route and even had to evade a pouncing street dog.
Geremew, though, ran a meticulous race. He was within touching distance of the pack behind Wasihun throughout. As the home-stretch neared, he surged to the front and was the leader of the group of five which entered the Sree Kanteerava Stadium for the final dash. With a finishing kick better than everybody else’s, it was no surprise to see him win.
The women’s race, however, was more straight-forward, with Jepchirchir, having committed herself near the 3km mark, and sustaining it with aplomb.
“Till 3km, we were very slow,” said Jepchirchir. “If we had continued that, we would have finished only in 35 minutes! So I decided to push. If I win, then well. Else, somebody else will. But when I was able to maintain it, I knew I would win.”
Gladys Chesire, from whom a challenge was expected, was in the race for the second spot until a heat stroke forced her out with roughly a kilometre remaining. It was then down to a battle between former champions in Kiprop (2012) and Yimer (2010) before the Rio-bound Kiprop won by five seconds.
The results: Overall: Men: 1. Mosinet Geremew (Eth) 28:36s; 2. John Langat (Ken) 28:37s; 3. Bonsa Dida (Eth) 28:42s; 4. Abdallah Mande (Uga) 28:46s; 5. Alex Korio (Ken) 28:49s. Women: 1. Peres Jepchirchir (Ken) 32:15s; 2. Helah Kiprop (Ken) 32:28s; 3. Wude Yimer (Eth) 32:33s; 4. Edith Chelimo (Ken) 32:50s; 5. Rose Chelimo (Ken) 32:54s.
Indian: Men: 1. G. Lakshmanan 30:34s; 2. Suresh Kumar 30:36s; 3. Nitender Singh Rawat 30:53s.Women: 1. Swati Gadhave 34:45s; 2. Sanjeevani Jadhav 36:13s; 3. Meenu 37:18s.

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