Injury-free Chemutai, Koech seek Prague Grand Prix conquest

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-06 19:32:07|Editor: Lu Hui
Video PlayerClose

NAIROBI, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Kenyans Geoffrey Koech and Fancy Chemutai hope to lead the field at the Prague Grand Prix 10km, an IAAF Gold Label road race to be held in the Czech capital on Saturday.

Chemutai, who has been battling an ankle injury since late last year and early 2019, says she is over her challenges following her win in the Boston 10km race in June.

"I feel better and fit. I raced in Boston to gauge myself and it was great to win. This came after I had felt pain in the Prague Half Marathon and did not finish the race. But I am now in my best shape and hope to return to Prague," said Chemutai.

The 24-year-old holds a personal best time of 49:30, which she clocked in the United Arab Emirates at last year's Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon.

Chemutai, the third-fastest woman of all time on the roads with a 10k time of 30:06, will be looking to break the event's 30-minute barrier.

Chemutai turned in that performance in Prague in 2017 when she chased Joycilene Jepkosgei who eventually shattered the world record with her extraordinary 29:43 run. Chemutai, 24, impressed in Boston in June, winning a 10km there in 30:36.

She'll face 20-year-old Gloria Kite, who went even faster this year, clocking 30:26 in Valencia in January and currently sits in position nine on the world all-time list.

Steeplechase standout Norah Jeruto, who beat world record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech at the IAAF Diamond League stop in Oslo in June, could also be a factor.

On the men's side, Koech, who clocked 27:18 in this race last year, which is the 13th fastest performance of all time, will be the man to watch. More recently, the 26-year-old finished fourth at the Prague Half Marathon in April, clocking 1:00:30.

He will face compatriot Vincent Kiprotich Kibet, who produced a 27:21 run to win in Berlin just over one year ago.

Kibet, who turned 20 in March, has shown good form this year too, clocking 27:35 to win in Wurzburg in April and 27:24.09 on the track in July.

But perhaps in most impressive form is 22-year-old Ethiopian Jemal Yimer, who set his 27:54 best on the roads in Prague in 2017 before racing to the African 10km title in Asaba, Nigeria, last year.

Others to watch include Kenya's Benard Kimeli, the winner of the Prague Half Marathon earlier this year, and Vedic Kipkoech, who improved his 10km best to 27:25 in Valencia in January.