World 10km record holder Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei will not defend her Birell Prague Grand Prix on Saturday (September 8).
According to the organisers, the 23-year-old who ran 29 minutes 43 seconds at the Birell Prague Grand Prix to eclipse her previous record of 30:04 set in the Czech capital in April last year is not on the start list.
The development leaves the 2017 runner-up Fancy Chemutai, headlines the women’s contest and is the race favourite to emerge as the new women’s.
Chemutai clocked 30:06 last year, moving her to third on the world all-time list before moving on to set a half marathon PB of 1:05:36 in Valencia and reduced that mark to 1:04:52 – just one second shy of the world record – to win at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon earlier this year.
The Kenyan’s only performance since then has been a half marathon victory in Zwolle in a time of 1:09:38.
In contention is Caroline Kikirui a third place finisher behind Chemutai at the Ras Al-Khaimah Half Marathon in a PB of 1:05:07 and finished second at the Prague Half Marathon two months later in 1:06:09, passing through 10km in a PB of 30:28.
Kipkirui who shifted her attention to the track, clocking a world-leading PB of 8:29.05 to win the 3000m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha before winning the Falmouth Road Race in the USA and then placed fourth in the 5000m at the IAAF Diamond League final in Zurich 11 days later
An unknown Kenyan athlete Dorcas Tuitoek, heads to Prague off the back of strong victories in Paderborn and Oelde, clocking 31:00 and 31:26 respectively.
Mary Munanu a formidable runner is likely to make a Kenyan sweep of the podium. The 21-year-old has a PB of 31:20 and a best this year of 31:34.
Most of the Czech fans lining the streets in Prague will be there to support European bronze medalist Eva Vrabcova-Nyvltova.
The 32-year-old former cross-country skier, clocked a national record of 2:26:31 at the European in Berlin.
Given that was less than a month ago, she might not yet be fully recovered, but she’ll use this race as part of her preparation for the New York City Marathon later this year keen to get close to her 10km PB of 33:01.