Top field confirmed for TCS World 10K in Bengaluru

Bengaluru, May 5 (IANS) The participation of 2016 Olympic aspirants, Nitendra Singh Rawat and Kheta Ram, along with defending champion Suresh Patel in the TCS World 10K was confirmed on Thursday.

Leading the women’s brigade in the May 15 race will be defending champion L. Surya and last year’s runner-up and Federation Cup 2016 winner Swati Gadhave, event promoters Procam International announced.

Nitendra Singh Rawat will be running the TCS World 10K to gauge his performance ahead of the Olympics, where he will be participating in the marathon event. He secured an Olympic spot earlier this year at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon with a course record time of 2:15.48 hours.

Close on their heels will be G. Lakshmanan who set 29:57.44 minutes on the clock in the 10,000 metres at the 2016 Federation Cup in New Delhi. Mohammad Yunus who is also fresh from his 2016 Federation Cup exploits will look at lowering his timing of 29:59.69, almost half a second faster than Kheta Ram (30:01.66) at the same event. He could definitely be competition to look out for in this race.

Suresh, who clocked a time of 29:49 to win last year’s edition, is confident of retaining the title.

“I am hoping to repeat my winning performance from last year with the conditions remaining more or less the same. There should be good competition out in the field when the race is flagged- off,” said Suresh in a release.

With a difference of only a few seconds between last year’s champion Suresh and Kheta Ram, Sunday could see the lead changing hands throughout the course that weaves through Bengaluru.

The women will also set the track ablaze with defending champion L. Surya returning to fend off any challengers, setting a time of 35:58 minutes in the 2015 edition and recently securing the gold with a time of 15:39 in the 5,000 metres event at the 2016 Federation Cup.

Last year’s silver medallist, Swati Gadhave who clocked 36:15, will look at a repeat or better performance from her 2016 Federation Cup timing of 32:53 in the 10,000 metres.

Lining up amongst the women will also be Sanjeevani Jadhav who clocked 34:43 in the 10,000 metres event at the 2016 Federation Cup, first runner-up of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, Manisha Salunkhe (01:19:17), and second runner-up Monika Athare (01:20:08).

Kiran Sahdev will also be looking to make their mark in one of India’s premier 10K runs.

“The course will be tough coupled with the changing weather conditions and the closeness of the field this year. The Federation Cup results were brilliant and everyone has a chance to cross the finish line first. I will have to work harder to make sure to retain my title come 15th May,” Surya said.

All will be gunning for a share of the total prize pot of $197,768, with Rs.2,50,000 each going to the men’s and women’s race winners.

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