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Top runners start to arrive

Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: The field is classy and so are the preparations for the third edition of the Sunfeast World 10K run in Bangalore. The first batch of runners — Wilson Kipsang, Grace Momanyi, Hilda Kibet and Tatyana Aryasova — have reached the city and many others are expected by Friday morning.

There is still some doubt about the top Indian runners participating in the event, thanks to the AAI's clampdown on participation from both runners and state associations.

Kipsang, who finished fourth last year, is here fresh from an impressive finish in the Paris marathon and sounded confident when asked about his tactics against the defending champion Deriba Merga from Ethiopia.

“I have prepared well and this event is going to be part of my preparations for the Delhi Commonwealth Games… so I am there,” said the 28-year-old Kenyan who has a personal best of 27:32 seconds over the distance.

Grace Momanyi, who finished tied for the first place in a dead heat with Elvan Abeylegessie (Turkey), is hungry for success. “This time I am prepared for the competition and hopefully will be running all alone to the finish,” said the graceful Kenyan.

Hilda Kibet, who has made Holland her home, and Tatyana too are no mean runners. While Hilda finished fourth here last year and has been training hard for this event, the Russian, a mother of a four-year-old boy is making her first visit to India.

“It's a beautiful country and I am enjoying every minute. Hopefully on Sunday too I will have lots to cherish with a good finish,” said the former World University Games runner.

About 26 men and 24 women international athletes of track and road race fame are expected to make this edition of the event a memorable one.

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