Tag Archives: Benard Kimeli

Rhonex Kipruto threatens Leonard Komon world record at Birell Grand Prix 10K

World U20 10,000m champion, Rhonex Kipruto set the streets of Prague on fire last night, when he blasted move at the Birell Grand Prix 10K.

Kipruto threatened to tear down Leornard Komon’s world record of 26:44 when he fell short of it with two seconds to set the second fastest time over the same distance.
Kipruto, who last April ran a 27:08 USA all-comers record at the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K in New York, blasted from the start when he hit the 5km mark in 13:31.

The 18 year-old took on the last 5km with an astonishing 13:15 to smash the previous course record of 27:10 that was set by his fellow country-mate Benard Kimeli at last year’s edition.

All of the top-10 men last night ran under 28 minutes.

Kipruto lead a 1-2-3 Kenyan podium finish as he was followed by Geoffrey Koech who crossed the line in 27:18 with Mathew Kimeli who is also a training partner of Kipruto with both coached by Bro Colm O’Connell closing the podium three finishes in 27:26.

Kipruto pocketed a cool € 10,000 in prize money and time bonuses, but had he broke the world record he would have received a € 20,000 bonus.


  1. Rhonex Kipruto  (KEN) 27:46
  2. Geoffrey Koech   (KEN) 27:18
  3. Mathew Kimeli   (KEN) 27:26

Rhonex Kipruto targets Birell Grand Prix title

The top three men from last year’s Birell Prague Grand Prix will return to challenge for the IAAF Gold Label road race on Saturday (September 8) in the Czech Republic.

Defending champion Benard Kimeli will be up against fellow Kenyans whom he led to a Kenyan sweep of the men’s podium.

It was the first time in history that three men had finished inside 27:20 in the same 10km race.

The top three Kenyans in last year’s race return to Prague in devastating forms and race promises to produce fireworks if their form is anything to go by.

The IAAF World U20 Championships  10,000m gold medalist compatriot Rhonex Kipruto, third in Prague last year in 27:13, has improved on that mark in April with his 27:08 victory in the UAE Healthy Kidney 10km race in New York, recording the fastest performance in the world at that distance for eight years.

Kipruto went ahead and won the 10,000m title at the IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018 with a dominant run.

Kimeli, who won last year’s Birell Grand Prix in 27:10, returned to Prague earlier this year for the half marathon, which he won in a PB of 59:47.

Last year’s runners up, Mathew Kimeli finished second to Kipruto in the UAE Healthy Kidney 10km race in New York in 27:19, just eight seconds shy of the PB he set when finishing in the same position at last year’s Birell Grand Prix when he separated Kimeli and Kipruto is in the fray.

Ethiopia’s Andamlak Belihu threatens to break the Kenyan’s dominance.  He won over 10km in Ottawa in a PB of 27:48, finishing 34 seconds ahead of Benard Kimeli, and went on to take the 10,000m silver medal at the African Championships in Abuja, Nigeria.

Belihu finished 10th in the 10,000m at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 at the age of 18 against formidable and experienced athletes like World and Olympic champion Mo Farah.

Athletes from Europe will be bidding to wrestle the title from Africans. Germany’s European Cup winner Richard Ringer and Belgium’s Soufiane Bouchiki are in contention after having reduced their respective 10,000m PBs to 27:36.52 and 27:41.20 respectively this year.

Britain’s Luke Traynor won against an all-European line-up at the Ceske Budejovice Half Marathon earlier this year, after improving on his 10km PB to 28:3.1.

Berta beats Kimeli to win Ottawa 10K Race

Upon arrival in Canada Kenyans Benard Kimeli and Benard Ngeno conspired amongst themselves to go after the nine-year-old course Ottawa 10k course record of 27:24 held by Ethiopia’s Deriba Merga.

But on a humid night it was Andamlak Berta of Ethiopia who emerged victorious in this IAAF Gold Label road race in a personal best of 27:48.

The Kenyans’ plan was to hit kilometre splits in 2:40 and hang on. It was not as daft as it seemed. Both are young, bold and potential world beaters. The Japan based Kimeli, in fact, has run the distance in 27:10, while Ngeno, barely eight months into his North American road race adventure, has claimed victories in three US races including the 2018 Azalea Trail 10km. He recorded his personal best of 27:45 there.

An opening kilometre in 2:40 set the tone but by the halfway point reached in 13:44 Ngeno was paying the price for his gambit leaving his compatriot to tackle the tall 19-year-old Ethiopian alone. Then just after seven kilometres Berta made a decisive move putting distance between him and Kimeli.

Andamlak Berta takes the Ottawa 10k. Photo: Kevin Morris (Organisers)

Frequent looks over his shoulder and an occasional glimpse at his wrist watch soon gave way to staring ahead as the elite women’s field had set off three minutes and 40 seconds ahead of the men and there was more money if he could catch them.

Berta who won the 2017 Ethiopian 10,000m title earning a place on his nation’s London 2017 world championships team – he ran 27:08.94 in London – chased down Alia Mohammed of the United Arab Emirates in the final kilometre to cross the line first overall. That earned him $10,000 while Mohammed took $8,000 for crossing the line second.

The men’s runner-up was Benard Kimeli in 28:22 just ahead of the Moroccan pair of Mohamed Reda and Mohammed Ziani both timed in 28:23. Berta, competing in his first North American competition was pleased with his effort.

“I had lots of energy and was just checking on (Kimeli) and once I knew that he wasn’t going to catch up then I was trying to catch the women,” he explained.

“I was happy that (Ngeno and Kimeli) made the early pace very fast. They got tired. It was difficult to run by myself. If there were others the time might have been better. I’m very happy to win this great race.”

Rungaru and Kipkirui favourites at Prague Half Marathon

Kenyans James Rungaru and Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui will start as favourites at the 20th edition of the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon, an IAAF Gold Labelroad race, on Saturday (7).

The course, which winds through the historical heart of the Czech capital, is notoriously fast, evidenced last year when Joyciline Jepkosgei broke the world record with a sizzling 1:04:52 run, while picking up world records for 10km (30:04), 15km (45:37) and 20km (1:01:25) en route. While the latter two are now considered world bests and Jepkosgei has gone on to further improve the 10km and half marathon marks, her performance was nonetheless one of the most memorable road running achievements in recent memory.

The men’s course record is fast too. Atsedu Tsegay clocked 58:47 to win the 2012 edition, still the seventh fastest performance in history and Ethiopian national record. The 27-year-old returns to Prague hoping to bounce back into sub-one hour territory for the first time since 2013. He showed reasonably good form last month in Lisbon, where he clocked 1:00:28 in windy conditions to finish fifth in the Portuguese capital.

But it will be 25-year-old Kenyan Rungaru who brings the strongest credentials and form to the start line on Saturday. Four weeks ago, Runguru clocked 59:37 to win the City Pier City Half Marathon at The Hague, his first dip into sub-one hour waters.

Justus Kangogo meanwhile is the fastest in the field at 59:31 set in last year’s Rome-Ostia race. He was sixth in the same contest last month in 1:01:02.

Others to watch include Josphat Tanui who returns with purpose after finishing second both here last year in 1:00:38 and in Usti Nad Labem, some 90 kilometres to the north, with a 59:22 personal best.

Meanwhile, Benard Kimeli is looking to move his good fortunes in Prague up in distance. Last September the 22-year-old won the Birell Prague 10km in 27:10, the fastest performance in the world in 2017. he made his half marathon debut in at the RAK Half in Ras Al Khaimah in February, clocking 1:00:16 for eighth.

Geoffrey Ronoh, 35, also has sub-60 minute credentials, but his 59:45 lifetime best came four years ago.

On the women’s side, the favourite role falls on Kipkirui, after her notable 2018 start. In February, the 23-year-old clocked 1:05:07 at the RAK Half to become the fifth fastest ever over the distance, yet finished no better than third in that high quality race. That performance wasn’t a one-off. In January she clocked 1:06:48 to finish second in Houston.

Her compatriot Joan Melly Chelimo is also expected to challenge. The 27-year-old was fourth in Ras Al Khaimah in 1:05:37, landing her at No. 8 on the all-time performers list.

They’ll be challenged by 2015 winner Worknesh Degefa of Ethiopia, the runner-up here last year in 1:06:14. That performance remains the 27-year-old’s lifetime best but she’s illustrated strong form in 2018 after a fourth place finish in the Dubai Marathon where she clocked 2:19:53, finishing fifth.