Ethiopian Sabastian Sawe, who clocked the world’s fifth fastest 10K in Germany last month, has set his sights on taking down the course record at the prestigious Tata Consultancy Services World 10K Bengaluru on Sunday.
Sawe clocked an impressive 26.49 in April, which puts the TCS World 10K Bengaluru men’s course record of 27:38 held by Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli (Kenya) last year at risk.
In Germany, Sawe also beat Kimeli, who finished third in a strong time of 26:54, and told the media on Friday that he is also in great form to better his personal best.
“I’m feeling good, and my shape has been good too, so I will try to do my personal best on Sunday. My goal for the year has been consistency, so I’ve been training hard but also making sure that I am not overstretching myself. I would say preparation leading up to the race has been very smooth,” Sawe told reporters.
Kipkorir said he has prepared strongly to defend his crown.
“I’m excited to be back in Bengaluru and I am excited to defend my title. I know my peers are also eager to perform so I am sure it will be very competitive. I know the course and have done well here so I believe it is an advantage. Last year, the race was not easy at all. I was pushed really hard. It is important to maintain your shape consistently if you want to do well,” he said.
“You can never judge what will happen on race day. That is the nature of the competition. Hopefully, we can push each other to break the course record,” he added.
Stephen Kissa, a Ugandan national marathon champion with a time of 2:04.48, speaking to reporters said: “I like running in India, and I am expecting the weather to be good as well. I think the level of competition means; we can assist each other to get faster.”
Ethiopia’s Tsehay Gemechu, runner-up at this year’s Tokyo Marathon, is a hot favourite for the women’s title. The women’s course record of 30:35 is by Irine Cheptai of Kenya.
“My favourite surface is road. I have done good training and I will try to do my best on Sunday. I think I need more speed and after the Tokyo race I have been working on more speed,” she said. The 2023 TCS World 10K Bengaluru on Sunday, May 21, is a USD 210,000 World Athletics Gold Label Road Race that will see the Elite men’s and women’s winners claim an identical USD 26,000 purse. Additionally, if an athlete breaks the course record on Sunday, they will bag a prize of USD 8,000.
Elite start list – TCS World 10K Bengaluru
|7||Yalemget Yaregal Mekuriyaw||ETH||30:54|
|14||Magdalena Shauri||TAN||32:40 – 66:37 HM|
|11||Milkesa Mengesha||ETH||27:47 – 27:00.24|
|14||Solomon Berihu||ETH||28:55 – 27:02.26|
|15||Hillary Chepkwoni||KEN||Debut – 59:20 HM|
|16||Levy Kibet||KEN||Debut – 13:02 5km PB|
|17||Solomon Boit||KEN||28:03 (PACER)|