One of India’s biggest running festivals, the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K, will be headlined by 10K world record-holder Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw in the women’s category and two-time world championship silver medallist Kenyan Daniel Simiyu Ebenyo in the men’s category.
The 25K is a World Athletics Elite Label Road Race.
The current men’s event record is held by Kenya’s Leonard Barsoton with a time of 1:12:49. The women’s record is helf by Bahrain’s Desi Jisa in the time of 1:21:04.
Making her debut at the 25K is 10K world record-holder (29:14 in 2022) Yehualaw. She also sits second on the world all-time list at the half marathon with a time of 1:03:51 set in 2021.
Yehualaw broke the world 10K record in the Castellón 10K, clocking 29:14 held in the Spanish coastal city, last year. In doing so, the world half marathon bronze medallist improved the ratified record of 29:43 which was held by Joyciline Jepkosgei. There is also the yet-to-be-ratified mark of 29:38 set by Bahrain’s Kalkidan Gezahegne. She also became the first woman in history to dip under the 29:30 and 29:20 barriers on the roads.
Yehualaw took her first victory in a World Marathon Major at the 2022 London Marathon, becoming the youngest-ever female winner of the event. “I’m happy to run in India once again. My experiences so far have been amazing, and I hope to add another great experience in Kolkata at TSK 25K. I am coming to Kolkata to run fast and I look forward towards the race on December 17th” said Yehualaw.
Her teammate Anchinalu Dessie and Kenya’s Betty Chepkemoi Kibet are the main challengers for Yehualaw. Just 20-years-old, Dessie set a half marathon PB of 1:07:30 in Milan this year, while Kibet has a half marathon best of 1:06:37, set in the 2021 Roma-Ostia event. In addition, Ethiopia’s Emebet Niguse, winner of the Drammen Half Marathon in 2023, together with Uganda’s Mercyline Chelangat, the third placer in Kolkata last year, are expected to provide stout competition in the women’s race.
Kenya’s Daniel Simiyu Ebenyo won two world championship silver medals this year, first in the 10,000m in Budapest in August, and then at a half marathon in Riga at the inaugural World Road Running Championships. He easily won the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon in October. His Kolkata appearance will be his debut at the 25K distance.
His compatriots Roncer Kipkorir Konga and Bernard Biwott, with sub-60-minute half marathon bests, are expected to push Ebenyo for the top podium position. Roncer finished seventh in the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon after improving his PB to 59:08 while taking the title in Buenos Aires in August, while Biwott posted an early world lead of 59:44 in January when winning in Santa Pola, Spain.
The stacked men’s field also features, Eritrean marathon national record-holder and multiple-distance running specialist Hiske Tewelde, who will be the dark horse.
Vivek Singh, Joint MD, Procam International, said, “We are very happy that each year we have grown as an elite race and the line-up speaks for itself. We have some of the best distant runners in the world participating in the TSK 25K, making it one of the most sought-after races at this distance. The presence of seasoned winners like Daniel Ebenyo and Yalemzerf Yehualaw will not only raise the bar for the race but also give our Indian distance runners much-needed exposure to some of the world’s best distance athletes.”
With the deep line-up, this edition of the running festival is looking at yet more records being set on the banks of the Hooghly when thousands of runners will tackle the 25K distance on December 17, 2023.
Some of the world’s best athletes take centre stage in Kolkata where US $100,000 will be in the offing. With equal prize money for the men and women. The first three in each race stand to win $7500, $5000 and $3500. The International Elite runners will be further incentivized by an Event Record Bonus of US $3,000.
Daniel Ebenyo (Kenya)
Eric Kiptanui (Kenya)
Roncer Konga (Kenya)
Bernard Biwott (Kenya)
Abe Gashahun (Ethiopia)
Victor Kipruto Togom (Kenya)
Hiskel Tewelde (Eritrea)
Afewerki Berhane (Eritrea)
Jackson Kipleting (Kenya)
Mulugeta Debasu (Ethiopia)
Victor Chumo (Kenya) (Pacer)
Yalemzerf Yehualaw (Ethiopia)
Anchinalu Dessie (Ethiopia)
Betty Chepkemoi Kibet (Kenya)
Sutume Asefa Kebede (Ethiopia)
Mercyline Chelangat (Uganda)
Tsige Haileslase (Ethiopia)
Aberash Minsewo (Ethiopia)
Emebet Niguse (Ethiopia)
Nelly Jeptoo (Kenya)
Luuk Maas (Netherlands) (Pacer)
Neha Kandalgaonkar / Deepak Pilankar
Carpe Diem Communique Pvt. Ltd
Dolon Dasbhaumik 9874272071 /Moumita Biswas 8777866266
For more information about the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K, log on to: tatasteelkolkata25k.procam.in/