In the bustling city of Bengaluru, Kenya’s elite runners, Peter Mwaniki and Lilian Kasait, showcased their prowess on Sunday in the 16th edition of the TCS World 10K Bengaluru. Mwaniki clocked in at 28:15, securing the international elite men’s title, while Kasait clinched the women’s title with a time of 30:56.

Mwaniki’s victory was a testament to his strategic prowess as he surged ahead of his compatriot, Hillary Chepkwony, at the 7.5 km mark. Similarly, Kasait exhibited her dominance by pulling away from her closest rival, Emmaculate Achol, at the 7.1 km mark.

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Despite their impressive performances, Mwaniki and Kasait fell short of breaking the event records, which stand at 27:38 for men and 30:35 for women. The new route received acclaim from most runners, although the subdued atmosphere at the finish line on Cubbon Road was noted. Unlike previous editions, where the Sree Kanteerava Stadium provided an electrifying setting, this year’s finish lacked the usual buzz, with only photographers and a few event officials present to celebrate the victors.

Kasait encountered a moment of adversity during her run when she nearly collided with the timing vehicle near Ulsoor Lake, which had apparently taken a wrong turn. Despite this setback, she maintained her focus and ultimately emerged triumphant. However, Achol, her closest competitor, had to be hospitalized after completing the race, although organizers confirmed her discharge shortly after.

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Reflecting on the missed opportunity to break the course record, Mwaniki expressed that a longer presence of the pacemaker could have made a difference. He revealed that the pacemaker dropped out earlier than expected, which impacted their strategy.

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The event also witnessed a historic moment for Indian athletes, with Kiran Matre setting a new event record for Indian elite men with a time of 29:32, surpassing the previous milestone set in 2015. Sanjivani continued her impressive streak, clinching the top position in the Indian women’s elite category for the third consecutive time with a time of 34:03.

In terms of rewards, Mwaniki, Kasait, Matre, and Sanjivani emerged as the top earners, with each receiving substantial prize money. Matre, in addition to his victory, also secured a bonus for breaking the event record.

Overall, the 16th edition of the TCS World 10K Bengaluru showcased the exceptional talent of Kenyan runners, while also highlighting the remarkable achievements of Indian athletes on the international stage.