Leonard Patrick Komon sizzles 44:34 in the Dam tot Dam 10-Miler (Orange Pictures) © Copyright
Preview Portsmouth, UK

Komon takes cautious approach to assault on World Best in Portsmouth 10-Miler - PREVIEW

After narrowly missing Haile Gebrselassie's World best performance for 10 miles last month Leonard Komon is prepared but cautious about lowering the mark  at the Bupa Great Run in Portsmouth, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on Sunday (30).

Komon, who already holds the World records for 10 kilometres and 15km, was only four seconds shy of the time of 44:23 belonging to the legendary Ethiopian star in Zaandam, Holland.

That prompted speculation the gifted 23-year-old Kenyan, who will be contesting his first ever road race in the United Kingdom over a very flat course acknowledged as being one of the fastest in the world, could achieve the feat at the south coast venue.

Komon, a highly competitive athlete, hasn't ruled out achieving the performance but his manager Marc Corstjens said he he will hedge his bets until inspecting the course and taking into account the expected weather conditions.

"After seeing the course on Saturday , it will be possible to make a prediction," said Corstjens, revealing the cool and wet conditions in Zaandam saw Komon lose valuable seconds in the closing stages of the race.

"At the start it was fine, but after around six miles it rained a lot for about the next three," he added. "His body cooled and cramped. Leonard lost a few seconds in each mile.

Corstjens stressed: "The time that Haile set is strong and breaking a World Best is not that easy. Hopefully the weather will be fine."

While Sunday's race marks Komon's first invitation to a race in the UK, three years he was an outstanding IAAF World Cross Country silver medalist when Edinburgh staged the Championships.

"Now he wants to give the best from himself, he aims once again for another victory," Corstjens added about the race where Komen's main rival will be fellow Kenyan Abel Kirui who retained his World title in the Marathon last month.

Morocco's Abderrahime Bouramdane, who placed fourth behind Kirui in Daegu, is also among the contenders while the the British trio of Andrew Lemoncello, Scott Overall and Chris Thompson, carry domestic hopes.

The women's race will headline Ethiopia's Asselefech Mergia, a former World Half Marathon Championships silver medalist and Kenya's reigning Commonwealth Marathon champion Irene Jerotich.

Facing the African pair will be Britons Charlotte Purdue, who defeated Jerotich in the Bupa Great Edinburgh Run at the beginning of the month when finishing a very plucky runner up, and Freya Murray who second in last year's Bupa Great South Run.

David Martin for the IAAF