31 AUG 2010 General News London, UK

Masai leads the field in London women’s 5km

Commanding Central Park victory for Linet Masai (New York Road Runners)Commanding Central Park victory for Linet Masai (New York Road Runners) © Copyright
World 10,000m champion Linet Masai returns to London on 5 September in a bid to keep the adidas Women’s 5k Challenge in Kenyan hands.

Masai was beaten to the Hyde Park title last year by just one second when her teammate Vivian Cheruiyot ended four years of Ethiopian dominance at this event with a sprint finish.

“I am happy to be back at the Women’s 5k Challenge,” said Masai who broke her 5000m track PB at the Shanghai Diamond League meeting in May. “Last year I lost in a sprint finish but this time I will be stronger at the end.”

Masai heads an elite field for the 13th edition of this annual race that includes fellow Kenyan Sylvia Kibet, the world silver medallist, Ethiopia’s former World cross country champion Worknesh Kidane, Virgin London Marathon runner-up Inga Abitova of Russia, who was fourth last year, Polish record holder Lydia Chojecka, Lauren Fleshman of USA, fourth in 2007, and Portuguese champion Dulce Felix who was seventh last year.

Jo Pavey will be hoping to put a frustrating summer behind her as she heads the British challenge. Pavey was forced to pull out of the European Championships in Barcelona on the eve of the event with an injury.

Pavey will be joined by former world junior 1500m champion Stephanie Twell, who finished a creditable seventh in that event in Barcelona.

Former champion Sonia O’Sullivan will be one of a number of past elite runners and celebrities among the 15,000 club athletes, fun runners and charity fund raisers set to take part in this annual event around the picturesque central London venue.

Ireland’s O’Sulllivan was a world and European track champion in the 1990s and she broke the course record here when she won in 2002 in 14:56, a time Paula Radcliffe lowered the following year to 14:51 which remains the record today.

“We are delighted to welcome Linet back to London for the 2010 adidas Women’s 5k Challenge,” said David Bedford, race director of the London Marathon who are organising the event. “Linet will be hoping to go one better this year after finishing second in 2009, but she has some tough opposition from all around the world.

“We are also pleased to see Sonia running in this event again along with many thousands of other women who’ve come to appreciate the race for its special atmosphere in one of London’s great parks.”

The full elite field plus personal bests:
Name                      Track PB   Road PB
Linet Masai, KEN          14:31.14    15:12
Sylvia Kibet, KEN         14:31.91    debut
Worknesh Kidane, ETH      14:33.04    15:20
Jo Pavey, GBR             14:39.96    15:26
Lauren Fleshman, USA      14:58.48    15:31
Lydia Chojecka, POL       15:04.88    debut
Dulce Felix, POR          15:08.02    15:47
Inga Abitova, RUS         15:15.05    15:23
Stephanie Twell, GBR      15:18.47    16:34

Organisers for the IAAF