The 2017 world cross country champion, Irene Cheptai smashed the race course record at the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) World 10K Bengaluru that was held on SUnday (15) in Bengaluru, India
The race unfolded in a very different fashion as Cheptai took on the race favorite, double World 5000m champion, Hellen Obiri and the reigning Agnes Tirop Cross Country champion, Joyce Chepkemoi Tele.
The race was a super-fast opening as Cheptai, Obiri and Joyce Tele went through the first 2km in 3:04.
Tele pulled away from the two at the 5km mark before Obriri, pushing the pace with Cheptai running in her slipstream as they passed the halfway point in 15:15.
Obiri took charge of the race for the next two kilometres, going through 6km in 18:23 and 7km in 21:32, before Cheptai took her turn to push at the front for a kilometre as Obiri briefly went through a bad patch. Obiri and Cheptai went for an enthralling head-to-head battle but with just 250m to go, Cheptai increased her pace leaving Obiri gasping for air as she surged ahead to erase the old course record of 31:19 that was set by the late Agnes Tirop in 2018, with a new course record and personal best of 30:35.
“When we raced through the 7km mark, I felt like Hellen’s pace had reduced, that’s when I tried harder to take lead. But even when I entered the stadium for the final lap, I was afraid of Hellen and I kept pushing my speed until I cut the tape,” said Cheptai.
Obiri came home in second place in a time of 30:44, also inside the old course record with Tele finished a distant third in 31:47 to complete an all-Kenyan podium finish.
Cheptai took home first place cheque of USD 26,000 for her victory and course record bonuses of USD 8000.
- Irene Cheptai (KEN) 30:35
- HEllen Obiri (KEN) 30:44
- Joyce Tele (KEN) 31:47