Peres Jepchirchir ran the fastest women’s 10km on the roads in the world this year as the Kenyan clocked 30:55 to win the Birell Prague Grand Prix, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on Saturday evening (5).
The 22-year-old, who only started racing internationally 12 months ago, produced a solo run from the gun in the 20th edition of this race and crossed the line in a personal best by 23 seconds as well as setting a women’s course record by 10 seconds, despite the breezy conditions in the Czech capital.
"“When the gun went off I felt confident after my run in Canada (her previous best of 31:18 in Ottawa back in May) and decided to attack my personal best," reflected Jepchirchir later.
She had a 10-metre gap over the rest of the field after two kilometres and then just kept on adding to her advantage.
Jepchirchir passed through the 5km point in 15:27, 37 seconds ahead of the chasing group and kept an even pace through the second half with a 15:28 split, before finishing more than a minute clear of her nearest rival, compatriot Linah Cheruto, who took second place in 32:08 with Ethiopia’s Kidusan Alema third in 32:10.
Daniel Chebii made it a Kenyan double and also impressed to win the men’s title in 27:42, the third fastest 10km of the year, regaining the title he won in 2013 although he was 14 seconds outside Geoffrey Ronoh’s course record of 27:28 set in 2014.
A group of 10 went through 5km in 13:51 and although the pace was constant, runners soon started to fall away from the pack at the front, including 2014 winner Ronoh, who started to struggle at around eight kilometres and quickly drifted back before eventually finishing a disappointed eight.
With about 700 metres to go, Chebii accelerated and shock off his remaining challengers.
Gilbert Masai and Barselius Kipyego finished second and third in 27:45 and 27:46 respectively to make it an all-Kenyan podium.
Organisers for the IAAF