Grand stage set for TCS World 10K Bangalore 2012
TCS World 10K Bangalore International Event Ambassador Linford Christie testing the Pasta, along with Atul Bhalla (General Manager, ITC Windsor, Bengaluru), Christian Saffer (Director Marketing, BMW) and Rahul Bose.
A world champion, a Commonwealth Games Champion, former winners and leading athletes from around the world, along with the cream of India's running talent will form the men's and women's elite athlete field that will take the starter's flag, wielded by CM of Karnataka Shree D V Sadananda Gowda, in the Tata Consultancy Services World 10K Bangalore, promoted by Procam International, at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, here, on Sunday.
Ethiopia's Deriba Merga, past winner of both this event and the Delhi Half, also promoted by Procam International, will be seeking to re-establish himself as the most feared front runner in Road Racing. Merga has already showed his form a little in 2012 with a sub-60 minute half on the hilly New York Half Marathon and is said to be in dangerous form. The other formidable Ethiopians are his compatriot, Feyisa Lelisa, bronze medalist in the marathon in last year's World Championships and Dino Sefir, his former team and training partner who last year left their stable and has since made a big breakthrough, running 2-04 in Dubai in January to clinch an Olympic place.
Uganda's Moses Kipsiro has been runner up in Bangalore and has already shown great track form this season over 5000m. The Kenyan charge will be led by two new comers on the block. Dennis Kimetto burst onto the scene in February, winning the RAK Half, backing it up with a sub-60 minute run to win the Berlin Half. He then established himself as a world star last month when breaking the World record for 25km, again in Berlin. In three outings off Kenyan soil he is yet to be defeated. Victor Kipchirchir will relish the challenge from Kimetto after his fine 59 minute half recently and Geoffrey Kipsang, runner up last term in Delhi will also, no doubt, be looking to go one better.
The ladies race is no less impressive with Grace Momanyi, a past winner heading the field along with her Kenyan Team mates, Philes Ongori (67 min half 2012) and front running Doris Changeywo, all looking for a form indicator prior to the Kenyan trials. Ethiopians Merima Mohammed, Namibian Hilalia Johannes and Hungarian Aniko Kalovics are the other fancied women athletes.
Indian long distance running ace Ram Singh Yadav will be using the TCS World 10K Bangalore on Sunday as a time trial, part of his buildup to the marathon in the London Olympics and he hopes to also finish among the winners from a strong and talented Indian men's elite athlete field.
Besides individual glory, the athletes will also be fighting for honour in the Nation's Challenge, which will see participation from 27 states. The teams will comprise two male and one female athlete and the winner in the Nation's Challenge will stand to gain Rs 4.50 lakh, with the runner-up teams winning Rs 3.25 lakh, followed by 2.15 lakh and 1.10 lakh. The individual male and female winners will stand to gain Rs 1 lakh each, with prize money up to the first five places. Yadav will have for competition the 22-year-old defending champion Suresh Kumar, who is looking to not only retain his crown but also improve upon his last year's time of 30.17 minutes.
The other leading Indian men in the fray are B C Tilak, Rati Ram Saini, Kheta Ram, Santosh Kumar, V L Dangi and Soji Mathew, to name a few.
In the absence of defending champion Kavita Raut and fancied names Sudha Singh and Preeja Sreedharan, the Indian women's challenge will be headed by another big name, Lalita Babbar. Babbar, whose favourite event is the half marathon, but possesses a good turn of speed is also confident of doing well on Sunday.
The women's category also has some promising new talent in Archana Pal, Monica Athre, Priyanka Patel and Kiran Tiwari, among others.
Meanwhile, elaborate arrangements have been put into place for the smooth conduct of the event. There will be 150 medical professional and five mini hospitals, two on each side of the stadium, and five on the road. Seven ambulances will be deployed, two inside the stadium and five stationed on the route. There will also be doctors running along with the athletes for immediate medical attention, if needed.
Besides the doctors, there would be nearly 1500 Law & Order and Traffic Police on Race Day to prevent any untoward incidents. Their efforts would be supplemented by 500 private security guards and 1000 volunteers. 60,000 liters of water, besides the Sports Drink Gatorade would be provided to keep the participants hydrated. There will be a total of eight water stations and two Gatorade sports drink stations on the route.
The event would be telecast live between 7.00 am and 10.30 am on Star Plus and DD Sports. Race Day activities will begin with the World 10K Elite race for men at 7.10 a.m., followed by the Senior Citizens Run at 7.20 a.m, the World 10k Elite race for women at 7.55 a.m., the Open 10K run at 8.00 a.m., the Wheelchair Event at 8.50 a.m. and the Majja Run at 9.00 a.m.
While the World 10K will have 136 participants, there will be 3060 in the Open 10K Run, 390 in the Corporate Challenge, 11,018 in the Majja Run, 785 in the Senior Citizens' Run and 91 in the Wheelchair Event.