Alex Korio winning the TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2017 Photo credit: Procam International

Kenya’s Alex Korio, the defending TCS World 10K champion, will return to Bengaluru to take on his compatriot and IAAF World Half Marathon Championships Valencia 2018 winner Geoffrey Kamworor at this year’s race on Sunday 27 May.

Korio, who also won this race in 2013, had a outstanding 2017. In addition to winning in impressive fashion in Bengaluru, where he beat a world-class field by 14 seconds last May, he reduced his half marathon best to 58:51 in Copenhagen later in the year.

However, the 27-year-old Korir will come to the Indian race with a point to prove after having to drop out in the world championship event in Valencia back in March.

In addition to Korio and the 2012 and 2014 TCS World 10K champion Kamworor (whose presence was announced on 8 May), another two-time winner in Bengaluru to return to this year’s race is Ethiopia’s Mosinet Geremew, who took the title in 2015 and 2016.

Geremew was among the favourites for last year’s race after his two previous wins but faded to 10th.

However, his two outings so far this year have resulted in stunning victories, with him winning both the Yangzhou Half Marathon in China and the Dubai Marathon, the latter in a world-leading 2:04:00 which makes him the 12th fastest man ever over the classic distance.

Fellow Ethiopian Leul Gebresilase was just two seconds behind Geremew in Dubai to take the runners up spot there and will also be on the start line in Bengaluru while the fastest man in the field is another Ethiopian Birhanu Legese, who has had success on Indian soil in the past and twice won the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.

Leading the Asian challenge will be Bahrain’s Abraham Cheroben, who finished second behind Kamworor in Valencia. The Asian half marathon record holder is anticipated to also be in contention for a place on the podium in Bengaluru.

A man who knows what it is like to climb the dais at the TCS World 10K is Kenya’s Edwin Kiptoo, second in 2017 and third in 2015, and he is aiming again to feature in the top three in Bengaluru.

The rest of women’s elite field for the TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2018 that will do battle with Ethiopia’s Netsanet Gudeta, the IAAF World Half Marathon Valencia 2018 winner, will be announced early next week.

The TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2018, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, has a total prize fund of US$213,000.

It risen in prominence every year since it was inaugurated in 2008 and is now one of Asia’s leading races over the distance.

Men’s elite field (with 10km personal best times)

  • Alex Korio (KEN) - 27:52
  • Geoffrey Kamworor (KEN) - 27:44
  • Birhanu Legese (ETH) - 27:34
  • Abraham Cheroben (BRN) - 27:35
  • Mosinet Geremew (ETH) - 27:36
  • Leul Gebrselassie (ETH) - 28:12
  • Edwin Kiptoo (KEN) - 28:20
  • Brett Robinson (AUS) - 28:29
  • Bashir Abdi (BEL) - 28:31
  • Ryan Vail (USA)  - 29:06
  • Moses Kurong (UGA) - debut

Approximately 27,000 runners will take to the roads for five different races in what has become one of Bengaluru’s most high-profile sporting events.

In addition to the TCS World 10K for elite runners, there is an Open 10K, the Majja Run (6km) the Senior Citizens’ Race and Champions with Disability Race (both 4km).