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Records at stake as stars race for glory in Valencia 10k meet

 Kenya's Agnes Ngetich on her way to setting the 10km women only record in Romania last year The course was later found to be shorter. [Agencies]

A record set by former World Under-20 10,000m champion Rhonex Kipruto at the 2020 10Km Valencia Ibercaja faces a major threat on Sunday.

Kipruto, then aged 20, cruised to a stunning 26:24 world record time in January 2020.

A stellar field has been assembled in an attempt to lower the mark that has stood for four years.

The 16th edition of the fastest Valencia 10km race has four under 27 minutes male contestants and a similar number of under 28 athletes eying the top slot in the men's category.

The pride of shattering the 26:24 world record will also shape the showdown.

One of the fastest athletes is Ugandan Jacob Kiplimo – the current half marathon world record holder.

Kiplimo will be eyeing a second world record in the road races, and his onslaught will be happening in the same course that Kipruto set the fastest time in the distance, in a blistering run four years ago.

Pundits consider the Ugandan star is a pre-race favorite. He is also seen as a athlete on a mission to attack the 10km world record.

Kenyan athletes Bravin Kipkogei who finished second at the Lille 10km last year, Malaga half marathon runner-up Boniface Kibiwott and former Prague half marathon champion Philemon Kiplimo are among Kenyan stars eyeing glory in the 10km Valencia race.

"In this edition we will again have a top-level line-up led by Jacob Kiplimo - four Under 27 athletes, 16 Under 28 athletes and more than 30 Under 29 athletes," the coordinator of the elite athletes of the race, Jose Enrique Munoz Acuna said in a recent interview.

Kipruto, a world 10,000m bronze medallist, chipped 14 seconds off a then yet-to-be-ratified time set by Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei just six weeks before the 2020 10km Valencia Ibercaja contest.

He reached the halfway mark in 13:18 - inside a world record pace on his way to the record. He was followed by Bernard Kimeli and Swiss star Julien Wanders.

While Kiplimo will be attacking the men’s record, Kenya’s Agnes Ngetich will be setting her sights on the women’s fastest mark in the world after missing the previous time held by Yalemzerf Yehualaw by 12 seconds.

The Ethiopian set the women’s 10km world record (29:14) in Castellón 2022.

Last September, Ngetich – a World Cross Country bronze medallist crossed the finish line in Brasov in a women’s 10km record with a time of 29:24 but the mark was not ratified after it was discovered that the course was 25m short.

Emmaculate Anyango who came is second behind Ngetich in Lille last year, World Cross Country gold medallist Irine Cheptai and Prague 10km champion Janeth Chepngetich are among Kenyan women to watch in tomorrow’s showpiece.

Joy Cheptoyek of Uganda, who recorded a 30:47 in last year’s Castellon and Francine Niyomukunzi (Burundi) who ran 31:46 in Forli in 2021, will also be expected to line up in the women’s contest in Valencia on Sunday.

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