Mourad Marofit of Morocco defeated defending champion Dickson Marwa in the METRO Men's 10Km in Prague, an IAAF Silver Label Road Race, on Saturday (11).
As the sun went down after a beautiful autumn day in Prague, the spotlights around Prague’s historic Old Town Square were shining on an exceptional group of athletes who had been assembled to take part in the two competitive races that form the main part of the annual TESCO Prague Grand Prix, the adidas Women’s Race 5 km and the METRO Men’s Race 10 km.
Wearing bib No. 1 in the men’s 10Km was the defending champion, Marwa from Tanzania who came to start full of confidence. Amongst those lining up with him at the head of the field were a group of Africans with exceptional season best times for the 10km, as well as some strong contenders from Poland and the Czech Republic, but when the gun went off at 20:30, it was the Moroccan Marofit, quickly followed by the New Zealand twins, Jake and Zane Robertson, who led the charge down the famous Parizska Street and out into the night.
At two kilometres, when the lead pack crossed the historic Old Town Square for the second time, four men, including Marwa, were some 15 seconds ahead of the top Czech runner, Jan Kreisinger. The order stayed much the same until the final kilometre, when Marofit made his final break for home, crossing the finish line in 28:27. Marwa was second in 28:29 and third, in the same time, was Kenyan Henry Chirchir. Finishing fourth was the first of the twins, Jake Robertson, in a time of 28:32.
Mrisho prevails in women's 5Km
The adidas women’s 5Km, which had preceded the men’s race by one hour, more than lived up to expectations, with four athletes in with a chance as the leading pack passed the four kilometer mark, these four runners some distance ahead of the following pack. At the head was Zakia Mrisho (Tanzania) who soon extended her lead over the others, crossing the finish line in 15:41 some 17 seconds in front of the following two, Hannah Wanjiru Gatheru (Kenya) and last year’s winner, another Kenyan, Gladys Otero, who finished neck and neck in 15.58.
There was plenty of European interest in both races, with local Czech favourite, Jan Kreisinger (30:18) the first European runner home in the men’s 10Km and the Polish champion, Karolina Jarzynska coming home fifth in 16:11 in the women’s 5Km. Czech runners Petra Kaminkova (17:14) and Marcela Lustigova (17:53) were 7th and 12th respectively.
Organisers for the IAAF