Race Day minus one and the defending champion Agnes Tirop of Kenya, was tipped to be in contention, but possibly pushed to the limit in the TCS World 10k at Bengaluru. The weather, a few degrees above the norm, was also considered a dampener, although the race was to kick off at 7.10 am, a good 50 minutes before the conventional start, and it was naturally predicted that the winner would be very unlikely to beat the record set just the previous year; a stupendous 29 seconds off the previous best time of 31:48.
The heat of the city and the heat on her heels from Ethiopian competitors Tsehay Gemechu and Senbere Teferi, however, were destined to be put away on the backburner, as Tirop ran a scorching race to finish in 33:54, a far cry from her timing of last year, but still good enough to take the top place on the podium, in the process becoming the first woman to successfully defend the TCS World 10k.
On the eve of the race Tirop had mentioned: “It is my first race (of the season). I can’t say how fast I am going to run but I feel well. The competition will be tough. But I have nice experiences of running here and I enjoy it.” And a joy it was indeed, with an extremely tight race seeing the top three finish within split seconds.