With a deep athlete field at the eleventh edition of the TCS World 10K, when the top Indian athletes faced the press this afternoon, there were no clear front-runners. With no pacers in this edition of the race for the elite runners, each runner on the morning for Sunday will have their eyes on each other.
Two-time women champion at the TCS World 10K, in 2014 and 2016 and recent Federation Cup Gold Medalist, Swati Gadave opened proceedings sharing that while her predominant focus with coach B. C. Tilak is currently the Asian Games, she is hoping to break her personal record on Sunday, “The competition is tough this time with Sanjivani and Monika in the field. I have been training very hard and for me, it’s all about doing the best I can and my target for this race is around 33 minutes. My aim is to try and break my previous record and I have total confidence that I can.”
Sanjivani who Swati has identified as her toughest competition this race, also acknowledged that she would have to bring her ‘A-Game’ to the race, “My personal best in competitions is 33:12 at the All India University Championship and I’m looking to beat that at this year’s run. This is my second time at the TCS World 10K, the last time I ran was in 2016.”
Also returning this year for the fifth time is Monika Athare, who returns post two extremely strong finishes in marathons that have tired her thoroughly, and has used some time off to allow her body to recover before returning to run the TCS World 10K. “This is my 5th time running at the TCS World 10K and it makes me very happy that I’ve always stayed within the top 3 rankings With marathons, it makes your body tired and I’ve recently done two of them, so it’s taken a lot of hard work for me to stay in shape for this year’s run. Bengaluru is one of my favorite places to run, being in this city is very exciting. It’s a good place and they have outstanding facilities for this race. The publicity we receive, the course, the way they treat us here is always amazing. I really like coming back and running here.”
Amongst the men, eyes will be on the three men, Shankar Man Thapa, local hero Belliappa AB and Army representative, Srinu Bugatha.
Shankar who puts the TCS World 10K as one of his two top favourite runs as he starts transitioning from a Cross Country racer to the shorter distance as 5KMs and 10KMs was glad to be back, “Out of all the marathons I’ve run, the Mumbai marathon and the TCS World 10K in Bangalore are my favourite. I’ve performed best at these events so I always look forward to coming back. I’ve been training in Hyderabad for the last few months and I feel like there are so many athletes in this race that are tough to beat.”
Belliappa AB who loves running in what he considers “home environment” of the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, comes to the race to use it as his benchmark on his fitness levels before he heads to the Asian Games trials, “Being from Karnataka, I’m excited to come and race in Bangalore and be around a home crowd. I’ve been training in Ooty with my coach B.C. Tilak, who has been pushing me very hard to do well at this 10K race. It feels good to be back, especially because I’ve run here twice before. The last two times, I didn’t really train for it, so I didn’t have a winning mindset, but this time I’m going to try very hard to reach the podium.”
Srinu Bugatha who currently trains at the Army Sports Institute in Pune joins Belliappa AB in his desire to use this run as a platform to test his fitness levels while also being extremely well prepared for the stiff competition this race will throw up. “My training for this 10K has been going well and I just completed 2 races before this one, so I’m mentally and physically prepared for it. This course will be a test of my fitness because the competition this time is very tough and making sure that I do well is a priority for me.” he concluded.
The TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2018 will boast some of the strongest men’s and women’s fields ever assembled for a 10km road race, with runners coming from all six continental associations for the IAAF Gold Label Road Race (see the event website for further details).
Approximately 24,000 runners will take to the roads in five different races including the Open 10K, the Majja Run (6km) the
Senior Citizens’ Race and Champions with Disability Race (both 4km).
Telecast commences on Star Sports 2 and Star Sports HD 2 at 7:00 AM and is also being live streamed on Hotstar and on the event website.