World champ Bekele to lead constellation of runners as TSK 25k goes international

A constellation of stars will assemble at the City of Joy led by the redoubtable Kenensia Bekele in the men’s field and Helah Kiprop and Valentine Kipketer in the women’s as TSK 25K goes international from this year.

Kenenisa Bekele is a legend in his sport and has won over 21 Olympic and World Champion titles and broke 6 senior world records in a front line career of more than eight years, Bekele has won gold at the 10.000m in four straight World Championships. He won double Olympic Gold in Beijing in the 5.000m and 10.000m and repeated that at the Berlin World Championships. Furthermore, he is the first ever and only athlete to be world indoor, outdoor, cross and Olympic champion.

In 2014 he made his marathon debut in Paris winning in 2:05:03. Two years later he shaved exactly two minutes of his personal best by setting a new Ethiopian record of 2:03:03 in Berlin marathon. The form that he has shown in recent months have kept the world of running fingers crossed for he can easily set a world record at this distance here putting Kolkata on the record book.

The men’s flock could see Tanzanian Augustine Sulle emerge as the dark horse for the meet, who after competing in Brazil began his European chapter with a wonderful debut in Amsterdam. 

Helah Kiprop will lead the women’s pack, with Valentine Kipketer and young Dibabe Kuma giving her tough competition.

Helah is well-known in India, she was the TCS World 10k Champion in 2012 and she won Cochin Half Marathon in 2013. She is an all-round athlete, holding personal best of 31:44 for 10k, 67:39 for half marathon and 2:21:27 in the marathon. In 2015 she won the silver medal at the World Marathon Championships in Beijing and in 2016 she won the prestigious Tokyo marathon. She took third places in last year’s Delhi half marathon and this year’s Bangalore 10k.

“The first three editions of the Tata Steel Kolkata 25km cultivated a domestic field but offered no incentives for international elite runners to participate. That has changed dramatically with the fourth edition to be held on 17 December with a host of top-ranked athletes contesting the race. Foremost among them is multiple world record holder Kenenisa Bekele who was the world's fastest Marathon runner in 2016 only five seconds shy of the world record. It's hard to see who in the men's field could challenge him but the up and coming Tanzanian, Augustine Sulle might,” said Hugh Jones, Race Director. TSK25K.

“The women's event, by contrast, has no standout favourite but is packed with seasoned campaigners still at the top of their game. Helah Kiprop has run many times in India and Valentine Kipketer won the Mumbai Marathon when she was a youngster and has since improved her marathon best significantly,” he added.

The elite field showcases a clash between the powerhouses in long distance running as all East African countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Eritrea and Tanzania are represented in the festival. There is also participation from Italy and South Africa. 

Please find the list below of the international elite athletes participating in the TSK 25K International:

MEN ELITE ATHLETES

Kenenisa Bekele                  ETH/1982

Robert Chemonges              UGA/1997

Augustino Sulle                    TAN/1997

Michael Mazibuko               RSA/1986

Tsegay Tuemay                     ERI/1995

Stefano La Rosa                    ITA/1985

Clement Langat                    KEN/1991

Dickson Marwa                     TAN/1982

WOMEN ELITE ATHLETES

F1            Helah Kiprop                         KEN/1985

F2            Valentine Kipketer              KEN/1993

F3            Dibabe Kuma                        ETH/1996

F4            Failuna Matanga                   TAN/1992

F5            Nazret Weldu                       ERI/1990

F6            Bornes Kitur                          KEN/1988

F7            Eunice Jeptoo                       KEN/1983

F8            Degitu Azimeraw                 ETH/1999

MEN ELITE ATHLETES

1

Kenenisa Bekele

ETH/1982

 

Kenenisa Bekele is a legend in his sport and has won over 21 Olympic and World Champion titles and broke 6 senior world records in a front line career of more than eight years, Bekele has won gold at the 10.000m in four straight World Championships. He won double Olympic Gold in Beijing in the 5.000m and 10.000m and repeated that at the Berlin World Championships. Furthermore, he is the first ever and only athlete to be world indoor, outdoor, cross and Olympic champion.

In 2014 he made his marathon debut in Paris winning in 2:05:03. Two years later he shaved exactly two minutes of his personal best by setting a new Ethiopian record of 2:03:03 in Berlin marathon.

2017

London Marathon

2nd

2:05:57

2016

Olympic Games Marathon

1st

2:03:03

2016

London Marathon

3rd

2:06.36

2014

Chicago Marathon

4th 

2:05:51

2014

Paris Marathon

1st

2:05.03

2013

Great North Run Half Marathon

1st

60:09

 

2

Robert Chemonges

UGA/1997

 

 

 

 

 

Robert hails from a talented family, many of his brothers also are international runners. One of them, Jacob Kiplimo is the World Junior Champion Cross 2017. Robert lives and trains from Kween district in Uganda.

2017

 

MTN Kampala Half Marathon

1st

64:31 (A)

2017

World Championships Marathon

43rd

2:21.24

2017

Dusseldorf Marathon

1st

2:10.32

2016

Ljubljana Marathon

7th

2:11.04

2016

Pordenone Half Marathon

1st 

62:55

2016

Trieste Marathon

1st

2:11.45

2016

World Half Marathon Championships

21st

63:39

 

3

Augustino Sulle

TAN/1992

 

 

 

 

Training in Arusha with a small group of athletes Augustino started his career competing mostly in Brazil. In 2017 he made the step to compete in Europe and made his marathon debut in Amsterdam in a very good way qualifying himself for the 2018 Commonwealth Games Marathon.

2017

Amsterdam Marathon

15th

2:10:01

2017

Rio de Janeiro 10Km

3rd

29:42

2017

Jever Funlauf 10 Miles

2nd

47:32

2016

Brasilia Half Marathon

1st

1:03.43

2016

Brasilia Circuito Caixa 10km

1st 

29:40

 

4

Michael Mazibuko

RSA/1986

 

 

Being coached by well-known distance legend, Hendrick Ramaala, Michael run a strong Cape Town Marathon in 2015 finishing 3rd running 2.12 on the hilly course. In 2016 had some challenges which kept him from competing internationally. He returned training early this year with the Ramaala group and Kolkata will be his first international appearance back. He earlier competed in Mumbai Marathon in 2015 where he unfortunately DNF.

2015

Cape Town Marathon

3rd

2:12:29

2012

George SA Marathon

2nd

2:15:12

2011

Cape Gate Vaal Half Marathon

1st

1:04:24

2010

Hartebeespoort Half Marathon

2nd

1:05.11

2010

Port Elisabeth Half Marathon

15th 

1:05.15

 

5

Tsegay Tuemay

ERI/995

 

 

Eritrea has brought some very big talents over the years in road racing. Tuemay is no different, winning road races often and running top 3 frequently. Tsegay trains in the Eritrean capital Asmara.

2017

San Diego Half Marathon

1st

1:01:38

2017

Hengshui Lake Marathon

5th

2:13.40

2016

Boston Half Marathon

3rd

1:03.29

2016

Yiwu Half Marathon

2nd 

1:02.59

2015

Breda Half Marathon

2nd

1:01.39

2015

Asmara Half Marathon

5th

1:04:33

6

Stefano La Rosa

ITA/1985

 

 

Stefano represented Italy on many occasions throughout his career. His personal bests on both track (13.23 5000m, 28:13 10.000m) and road (62.15 half and 2.11.11 full marathon) are credit to that as well. He belongs among Europe best distance runners at this moment.

2017

Arezzo Half Marathon

7th

63:20

2017

European Cup 10.000m

5th

29:08.05

2017

Italian Championships 10.000m

2nd

28:51.73

2017

Treviso Marathon

1st

2:12.26

2016

Olympic Games Marathon

57th

2:18.57

2016

World Championships Half Marathon

25th

64:05

2016

European Championships Half Marathon

13th

64:15

2015

TCS Amsterdam Marathon

12th

2:11.11

 

7

Clement Langat

KEN/1991

 

 

Clement trains in Iten with multiple Olympic and World Champion Asbel Kiprop. Where Asbel is focused more on middle distance, Clement joins Leonard Barsoton (Silver at the World Cross Champs 2017) for the longer distances. Clement was part of the pacemaker group of NIKE Breaking 2 test event in Monza in March.

2017

San Blas Half Marathon

1st

64:01

2017

Beach to Beacon 10km

5th

28:42

2017

Okpekpe Road Race

5th

29:44

 

8

Dickson Marwa

TAN/1982

 

 

Dickson is a familiar face in India, having competed already seven times in India before in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai it’s now time to add Kolkata to that total as well. Dickson boosts impressive PB’s on both the track (27:38.58 for 10.000m) and road (59:52 for half marathon). He represented Tanzania in international championship for the first time in 2006 during the Commonwealth Games where he finished 6th over 10.000m and 8th over 5.000m. His best performance was a 8th place in 2007 at the World Half Marathon Championships.

2017

Kilimanjaro Airport International half marathon

5th

 

2016

Shanghai International 10km

3rd

29:51

2014

Tanzanian Championships 10.000m

8th

28:57

2013

TCS Bangalore 10km

6th

28:50

2011

All African Games Half Marathon

6th

65:22

 

WOMEN ELITE ATHLETES MUMBAI MARATHON 2016

F1

Helah Kiprop

KEN/1985

 

 

Helah Kiprop is well-known in India, she was the TCS World 10k Champion in 2012 and she won Cochin Half Marathon in 2013. She is an all-round athlete, holding personal best of 31:44 for 10k, 67:39 for half marathon and 2:21:27 in the marathon. In 2015 she won the silver medal at the World Marathon Championships in Beijing and in 2016 she won the prestigious Tokyo marathon. She took third places in last year’s Delhi half marathon and this year’s Bangalore 10k.

2017

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

4th

68:10

2017

World Championships Marathon

7th

2:28:19

2017

TCS World 10k Bangalore

3rd

32:02

2017

RAK Half Marathon

6th

67:48

2016

New Delhi Half Marathon

3rd

68:11

2016

Tokyo Marathon

1st

2:21:27

2015

World Championships Marathon

2nd

2:27:36

2015

Istanbul Half Marathon

2nd

68:23

2015

Tokyo Marathon

2nd

2:24:03

2014

Seoul International Marathon

1st

2:27:29

2014

RAK Half Marathon

4th

68:36

2013

TCS World 10k Bangalore

6th

32:26

2013

Cochin Half Marathon

1st

71:54

2013

Berlin Half Marathon

1st

67.54

2012

TCS Bangalore 10k

1st

32:22

 

F2

 

 

Valentine Kipketer

KEN/1993

 

 

She left a landmark after her first appearance in India, breaking the Mumbai Marathon course record and setting an Indian All Comers record for the distance which remains unbroken till today. She then kicked off her international marathon career competing in some of the World Major Marathon series races. She gave birth to her first born in 2014 and returned to competition late 2015.

2017

Chicago Marathon

5th

2:28.05

2017

Boston Marathon

6th

2:29.35

2016

Chicago Marathon

3rd

2:23.41

2016

Boston Marathon

5th

2:33.13

2016

Mumbai Marathon

3rd

2:34.07

2013

Amsterdam Marathon

1st

2:23.02

2013

Mumbai Marathon

1st

2:24.33

 

F3

 

 

Dibabe Kuma

ETH/1996

 

 

Younger sister to Internationally known marathoner Abera Kuma, Dibabe got her shot at an international career in 2015 winning her 1st international appearance in a 10km in Holland.

2017

Barcelona Half Marathon

2nd

1:09:49

2017

Göteborg Marathon

5th

1:12:01

2016

Paris Half Marathon

1st

1:09:18

2016

Kopenhagen Half Marathon

7th

1:10:47

2016

Barcelona Half Marathon

1st

1:09:19

2016

Göteborg Marathon

5th

1:12:15

 

F4

 

 

Failuna Matanga

TAN/1992

 

 

After starting her career competing in Brazil for a couple of years, Failuna made her breakthrough this year. 2017was a year full off highlights for the young Tanzanian runner competing in two world championships and making her marathon debut in Amsterdam.

2017

Amsterdam Marathon

10th

2:34.12

2017

World Championships 10.000m

23rd

32:29.97

2017

FBK Games Hengelo 10.000m

9th

31:47.37

2017

TCS Bangalore 10km

7th

33:32

2017

World Championships Cross

16th

 

 

F5

 

 

Nazret Weldu

ERI/1990

 

 

Where Eritrean men are represented in bigger numbers and at the highest level, for women that’s a different scenario. Nazret is already for years the lone Eritrean female athlete competing internationally.

2017

Houston Half Marathon

2nd

1:14:56

2016

Houston Half Marathon

5th

1:11:30

2016

Xiamen Half Marathon

4th

1:12:23

2016

FBK Games 10.000m

13th

32:58.28

2016

Nanning Half Marathon

3rd

1:12:44

2015

San Francisco 12 KM

2nd

40:46

 

F6

Bornes Kitur

KEN/1986

 

 

Bornes Kitur has had a very successful year running sub 2.30 in three marathons and winning the Mumbai Marathon. In 2016 she came a surprise 2nd in Mumbai Marathon, now she will use Kolkata 25km as a last test towards defending her Mumbai title on 21st January 2018.

2017

Sydney Marathon

2nd

2:29.01

2017

Seoul Marathon

7th

2:29.40

2017

Mumbai Marathon

1st

2:29.02

2016

Eldoret Marathon

1st

2:42:58 (A)

2016

Cologne Marathon

1st

2:32:16

2016

Mumbai Marathon

2nd

2:32:00

2016

Copenhagen Half Marathon

5th

70:00

2014

Hannover Marathon

3rd

2:33:50

2014

Ljubljana Marathon

5th

2:36:02

2014

Azkoitia-Azpeitia Half Marathon

2nd

70:32

 

 

 

F7

 

 

Eunice Jeptoo

KEN/1983

 

 

Eunice is a very experienced marathon runner having completed 11 marathons in her career so far. Four times she managed to finish top 3 and once she won.

2017

Eindhoven Marathon

1st

2:26.13

2017

Rabat Marathon

2nd

2:33.41

2016

Enschede Marathon

4th

2:32.36

2016

Sevilla Marathon

4th

2:33.13

2015

World Military Championships Marathon

12th

2:42.27

2015

Stockholm Marathon

2nd

2:34.59

 

F8

 

 

Degitu Azimeraw

ETH/1999

 

 

Only little is known about Degitu, Kolkata will be her 1st international competition. She is training with Meseret Defar in Ethiopia for a year now.

2017

Addis Ababa 5km

1st

15:54