Kolkata, Dec 15 (IANS) Kenyan Amos Kipruto will aim to break Kenenisa Bekele’s course record while Ethiopian teenager Degitu Azmeraw will look to defend her crown in the fifth edition of the Tata Steel Kolkata 25km run here on Sunday.
Kipruto has the best timing of 1:00:24 in the half-marathon in Sweden.
Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele had set the course record of one hour 13 minutes 48 seconds in the unique 25 km event in 2017.
At the Berlin marathon in September, Kipruto was pipped by fellow mate Eliud Kipchoge with a world record timing of 2:01:39.
He will, however, face a stiff challenge from Bekele’s compatriot, Birhanu Legese, a two-time Delhi Half Marathon winner.
Meanwhile, Azmeraw had shocked everyone in her maiden international appearance last year by taking the honours in the women’s elite section with a course record timing of one hour 26 minutes and 01 seconds.
The 19-year-old improved on her personal best timing to 1:06:47 at the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon in February this year, going on to win the Gifu Half Marathon in Japan later.
For company, Azmeraw will have 31-year-old Florence Kiplagat, a gold medallist at the 2009 IAAF World Cross Country Championships and the 2010 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, on the start line.
A total of 10 international runners will take part in the men’s elite field, while the women’s section will see eight runners vying for top honours.
Avinash Sable, who recently broke a 37-year-old national record in steeple chase, will be the cynosure of all eyes among the Indians.
L Suriya, defending champion in the Indian women’s category, will also aim to retain her title and better her last year’s timing of 1:26:53.
Two-time Asian Games medal-winning steeplechaser Sudha Singh will be the other Indian in the women’s field.