Titus Mbishei winning the Sunfeast 10K in Bangalore (organisers) © Copyright
Mbishei springs surprise - Men's race
The previous night’s drizzle and an umbrella of clouds kept the mercury level at 24 degree Celsius when the men took up the race at Bangalore. Ethiopian Deriba Merga, last year’s winner here, was among the leaders when the men left Sree Kanteerava Stadium. Once the runners set off on Kasturba Road, a young Kenyan athlete became visible before the two kilometer mark approached. A curious look revealed it was Titus Mbishei, the silver medalist in the 10,000m at the World Junior Championships two years ago.
Mbishei, 19, did the front running from then onwards. However Merga was hanging on in the lead group which included Moses Kipsiro of Uganda, second at Bangalore last year, along with Xiamen marathon winner Feyisa Lelisa and Kenyan Titus Masai, the third-place finisher in RAK half-marathon.
As the runners passed six kilometers, Merga started to trail while Mbishei continued in the lead role. Mbishei and Kipsiro then started running shoulder-to-shoulder when they passed the artistic Vidhan Soudha building and entered the Cubbon Park at 8K. They kept the pace on the beautiful inner roads of the park. The efforts of Lelisa and Merga to catch them were in vain as the gap continued to widen.
Mbishei entered the stadium first with Kipsiro chasing on his heels. Merga, who arrived only the previous night and running with little rest, made a gallant effort but came up short.
Mbishei posted a personal best 27:54, but missed the course record by just three seconds. “I was unable to cope up with the pace,” Merga admitted after the race. The young Mbishei was thrilled, and said the course was excellent and he enjoyed the race.
Yimer delivered a stunner in women’s race
An array of globally renowned runners, which includes three of the past victors, set the tone for the women's race, and once the race commenced, they did not disappoint.
Turkey's Elvan Abeylegesse, the double silver medallist at the Beijing Olympics, did the front running. Kenyan Grace Momanyi, who tied for the top spot with Abeylegesse at the inaugural race here in 2008, along with teammate Gladys Chemweno and Ethiopian Aberu Kebede, went past the mid-way mark at 15:58 with Abeylegesse.
The Turkish runner then trailed when Momanyi took the lead with Ayalew Wude Yimer, the bronze medallist in last year’s World championships at Berlin, and defending champion Asalefech Mergia.
Momanyi arrived at the stadium with Mergia and Yimer running closely behind. Yimer made her kick with 200 metros to go and sprinted past the two to clock a new course record of 31:58. A tired Mergia finished second with Momanyi finishing third.
Each of the winners took home a prize purse of USD 21,000. Among the Indians, Sunil Kumar and Preeti L. Rao took the top spots and went home with a winner’s cheque of INR 150,000 (USD 3214).
Earlier Mr B.S. Yeddyurappa, Chief Minister of Karnataka, flagged off the races.
Ram. Murali Krishnan for the IAAF
Leading Results -
1. Titus Mbishei KEN 27:54
2. Moses Kipsiro UGA 28:08
3. Feyisa Lelisa ETH 28:23
4. Deriba Merga ETH 28:32
5. Edwin Kipkorir KEN 28:35
6. Titus Masai KEN 28:44
7. Tadese Tola ETH 28:49
8. Eshetu Wendimu ETH 28:50
9. Geoffrey Kusuro UGA 28:52
10. Henry Chirhir KEN 28:56
11. Wilson Kiprotich Kipsang KEN 29:03
12. Mesfin Hungewaw ETH 29:17
13. John Wambua KEN 29:25
14. Mo El Hachimi MAR 29:26
15. Ezekiel Cherop KEN 29:30
16. Kipsang Mahboob BHR 29:50
17. Fabiano Joseph TAN 29:52
18. Dechese Chala ETH 29:55
19. Raymond Kandie KEN 30:41
20. Lucas Wambua KEN 30:44
21. Sunil Kumar IND 30:47
22. Arvind Kumar Yadav IND 30:47
23. Santosh Kumar IND 30:50
24. Nandraj Singh IND 30:52
25. Ajeet Singh Baghel IND 30:56
1. Ayalew Wude Yimer ETH 31:58
2. Aselefech Mergia ETH 32:00
3. Grace Momanyi KEN 32:05
4. Koren Yal ETH 32:17
5. Aberu Kebede ETH 32:21
6. Hilda Kibet NED 32:22
7. Genet Genteneh ETH 32:23
8. Dire Tune ETH 32:29
9. Gladys Chemweno KEN 32:49
10. Tigist Tufa ETH 32:50
11. Elvan Abeylegesse TUR 33:28
12. Jane Kiptoo KEN 33:34
13. Mare Dibaba ETH 33:59
14. Ayele Diribe Yemer ETH 34:23
15. Fatuma Sado ETH 34:26
16. Mirriam Makewa KEN 34:27
17. Tatiana Aryasova RUS 34:45
1999 A marathon is born