Kipruto rules in 10km race

By IAAF: Monday, September 10th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
Rhonex Kipruto on his way to win men's 10000m finals at Ratina Stadium, Tampere, Finland on July 10, 2018. [Photo: Dennis Okeyo, Standard]

World U20 champion Rhonex Kipruto sped to a convincing victory at the Birell Prague Grand Prix, confirming his status as one of the world’s most promising distance runners by coming within two seconds of the world record at the IAAF Gold Label road race over the weekend.

His winning time of 26:46 is the second-fastest 10km performance in history behind Leonard Komon’s 26:44 world record from 2010. It also improves on the world U20 best of 27:08 set by Kipruto himself earlier this year.

Knowing the course is conducive to fast times, having played host to Joyciline Jepkosgei’s world record from last year, the elite men’s field set off at a brisk pace. After just the first few kilometres, the lead pack was being whittled down with each passing minute.

At halfway, which pacemaker Benard Kibet Lagat reached in 13:30, six men remained in contact with him: Kipruto, defending champion Benard Kimeli, Geoffrey Koech, Abraham Kipyatich, Peter Kwemoi and Ethiopia’s Berta Belihu.

Clearly unsatisfied with the half-way split, Lagat noticeably increased the pace, stringing out the lead pack.

“I’m very satisfied,” said Kiprutothe 10,000m at the IAAF World U20 Championships two months ago. “I was the only one pushing it. No one assisted me to push it.”

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In contrast to the men’s race, the women’s contest featured three main protagonists for the duration of the 10km run.