World champion and Asian Games marathon gold medallist Rose Cheliimo of Bahrain will be one of the title contenders in the TATA Consultancy Services World 10K race here on May 19.
A total of 17 gold label athletes, nine men and eight women, will be seen at the starting line for the race. Seven of the 12 international elite men have personal best timings which are below the course record of 27:44 set by Geoffrey Kamworor in 2014.
Four of the 10 international elite women also have their personal best below the course record of 31:19 set by Agnes Tirop in the last edition. The Kenyan is returning to the city to defend her title.
For Tirop, her biggest competition could come from Chelimo who will be looking to surprise one and all at the event where she returns after two years. In the 2016 edition, Chelimo finished fifth but since then her career graph has taken an upward trajectory winning the 2017 Marathon World Championships and 2018 Asian Games gold in marathon.
In the men's elite section, Kenya's Mathew Kimeli enters the field as the fastest runner in the competition with a personal best of 27:11. About two weeks back, Kimeli won the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K at 27:45.
He achieved his best in Prague in September 2017 and went on to better the 28-minute barrier on three further occasions in 2018, of which 27:19 was his best time in New York in April 2018.
The USD 213,000 event will also have five debutants in the elite category, including two Indian men in Pradeep Singh Chaudhary and Ranjeet Kumar Patel, and Parul Chaudhary among women.
Ethiopia's Letesenbet Gidey and Volha Mazuronak from Belarus will also make their debut in international elite women's field.
Letesenbet comes to the event at the back of three podium finishes -- first in 10,000m Ethiopian Championships, third at World Championships Cross and second in the Ethiopian Championships Cross. She has twice been the World Junior Cross Championships (2015, 2017).
World 10K record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei and Caroline Kipkirui have pulled out of the race due to injuries.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)