Ethiopian Sabastian Sawę, who clocked the world’s fifth fastest 10K in Germany last month, has set his sights on taking down the course record at the prestigious Tata Consultancy Services World 10K Bengaluru on Sunday.
The TCS World 10K Bengaluru is a USD 210,000 World Athletics Gold Label Road Race that will see the Elite men’s and women’s winners claim an identical USD 26,000 purse. Additionally, any athlete breaks the course record will bag a prize of USD 8,000.
Sawe clocked an impressive 26.49 last month, that puts the TCS World 10K Bengaluru men’s course record of 27:38 held by Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli (Kenya) last year at risk.
In Germany, Sawe also beat Kimeli, who finished third in a strong time of 26:54. Speaking to the media here in Bengaluru ahead of the Race Day this Sunday, Sawe said he is in great form to better his personal best.
“I’m feeling good, and my shape has been good too, so I will try to do my personal best on Sunday. My goal for the year has been consistency, so I’ve been training hard but also making sure that I am not overstretching myself. I would say preparation leading up to the race has been very smooth,” an optimistic Sawe told reporters.
Making his intentions clear about vying to clinch the title, Kipkorir too emphasised that he is a contender for the crown which comes with the cash prize of USD 26,000.
“I’m excited to be back in Bengaluru and I am excited to defend my title. I know my peers are also eager to perform so I am sure it will be very competitive. I know the course and have done well here so I believe it is an advantage. Last year, the race was not easy at all. I was pushed really hard. It is important to maintain your shape consistently if you want to do well,” he said.
“You can never judge what will happen on race day. That is the nature of the competition. Hopefully, we can push each other to break the course record,” he added.
Stephen Kissa, a Ugandan national marathon champion with a time of 2:04.48, speaking to reporters said: “I like running in India, and I am expecting the weather to be good as well. I think the level of competition means; we can assist each other to get faster.”
Ethiopia’s Tsehay Gemechu, runner-up at this year’s Tokyo Marathon, is a hot favourite for the women’s title. The women’s course record of 30:35 is by Irine Cheptai of Kenya.
“My favourite surface is road. I have done good training and I will try to do my best on Sunday. I think I need more speed and after the Tokyo race I have been working on more speed,” she said.