Bengaluru, May 8 (IANS) World Champions Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya and Ethiopian Netsanet Gudeta will head the mens and womens elite fields respectively in the TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2018 on May 27, the race promoters Procam International announced on Tuesday.
For both the runners, who were recently crowned the world champions at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia, it will be their first competitive outing since their global triumphs in March.
Kamworor, 25, has established himself as one of the world’s leading distance runners in recent years, winning the last two world cross country and the world half marathon titles.
“I took some rest after Valencia and then started my preparations towards Bengaluru. I hold the course record at this race (27:44) so I know about the course and the city,” commented Kamworor from his home in Kenya.
“I have some very good memories about running in India and I have also run in Delhi in the past, so I am looking forward to the race. People will be asking me about times and whether I can run another course record, but I just want to come to Bengaluru to run a nice race, especially as there will not be any pacemakers this year.”
“I expect the organisers, Procam International, will have some other strong runners in the race so I am sure I will have a good battle,” he added.
Gudeta, 27, has also been preparing hard for her return to Indian soil.
“Since Valencia, I have just been training and focusing on Bengaluru. Even though the race has been put back two weeks, that hasn’t affected me. In fact, it’s allowed me to prepare slightly better,” she said.
“I have been to India on a number of occasions in the past, including this race and three times at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, but I have never won a race in India so my first and foremost ambition is to win in Bengaluru this year.”
“I know after winning in Valencia that people will be talking about a fast time and perhaps the course record (held by Kenya’s Lucy Kabuu at 31:46 since 2014), but this year there are no pacemakers.
“Of course, I set the women-only world record for the half marathon (1:06:11) in Valencia and that was a race without pacemakers. I have also run times for 10,000m on the track (personal best 30:36.75, 2016) and 10km on the road (31:35, 2017) that are better than the course record but the most important thing for me is to win,” she reflected.
The rest of the men’s and women’s elite fields for the TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2018 will be announced in the coming weeks.
The TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2018 has a total prize fund of $213,000.
Approximately 27,000 runners will take to the roads for five different races in what has become one of Bengaluru’s most high-profile sporting events.
In addition to the TCS World 10K for elite runners, there is an Open 10K, the Majja Run (6km) the Senior Citizens’ Race and Champions with Disability Race (both 4km).