Kenya’s Stephen Ogari will be heading back to the 39th edition of the 20km de Paris that will be held on Sunday (8) on the streets of Paris, France.
The 31 year is the most familiar with course owing to his participation in the last five series where he has finished third three times and taken fourth and sixth place once each.
Ogari finished second behind French national Philippe Remond who made history as the first French to win the race when he clocked 59:18 with a second separating the two.
Alfred Cherop rounded out the podium last year, seven seconds adrift of the winner. Actually, the 31 year-old Kenyan has collected numerous places of honour in this event, finishing third three times –most notably in 2012 when he set his 20 km PB of 58:20– backed up by fourth and sixth place showings as well. He has a half marathon best of 1:01:21 set five years ago.
Cherop’s only race this season was the Annecy Marathon, where he wound up fourth in 2:13:33.
Rwanda’s Felicien Muhitira appears to be one of the favourite, if not the main one.
The 22-year-old set a 10,000m personal best of 28:12.75 last April. He also won the challenging French Classic “Marvejols-Mende” in July before clocking a half marathon PB of 1:01:56 two weeks ago.
Daniele Meucci will definitely be a strong contender. The Italian will be back in the competition following his fifth place in the World Championships marathon, a distance over which he is the European champion. Meucci, who’ll compete here for the first time, clocked a PB of 59:03 over 20km en route to his half marathon season’s best of 1:02:17 in Praha last April and has a half marathon best of 1:01:06, a time set in New York in 2013.
Another Frenchman could play a role as Hassan Chahdi already shined in the French capital. He indeed clocked a personal best of 1:01:38 over 13.1 miles in Paris back in 2015. Since then Chadhi has moved up to the marathon and improved his personal best to 2:10:20 in Paris last April.
Not to be discounted either is Getnet Gedamu. The Ethiopian won the 20 km de Maroilles in 1:01:19 five months ago as well as the Auray Half Marathon in a personal best of 1:03:49 earlier September.
A thick French contingent will also include Timothée Bommier, who was fifth last year in 1:00:04, Benjamin Malaty, who finished 11th at the Berlin Marathon two weeks ago as well as the miler Florian Carvalho, who will move up to longer distances – the 2012 1500m European silver medallist holds a 10 km PB of 28:46 set two years ago on the challenging course of Rome.
Kenya’s Evans Kiprop Cheruiyot still holds the course record of 57:19, a time which he set in 2005.