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A strong field of top international athletes led by Leonard Barsoton and Ashete Bekere in the men and women’s category respectively are eager to stamp their authority on the curated roads of Tata Steel Kolkata 25K.
As winter sets in on the capital city of West Bengal on the banks of Hooghly the hugely talented pool of 20 international distance runners will take their mark at the starting line-up on Sunday to script history. The prize money for the international winner is USD 7500, while the course record bonus is USD 3000.
Speaking to the media during the press meet, Kenyan Leonard Barsoton, a winner at TSK 25K in 2019, said: Thank you for inviting me for the second time I am so grateful. 2019 still feels like yesterday and I hope Sunday will be a great run. I am good in all three surfaces be it track, road or country but now I am trying to convince my mind to focus on road. I am good now after my injury earlier this year, so I am now prepared for the 25k marathon.”
Leonard made name by winning two silver medals in World Cross and an African Cross title. In 2020 he represented Kenya at the World Championships Half Marathon in Gdynia, where he finished in 6th position. Only 2 seconds behind 5th placer Andamlak Belihu.
Victor Kiplangat, the reigning Marathon Commonwealth Champion, who as a youngster was from a mountain running background and won the World Mountain running junior title and also on senior level won medals there would be here in Kolkata for the TSK 25K. He said: “Thank you for inviting me for this race for the first time. Birmingham was a bit hilly which was good for me as I am a mountain runner, but I am going to give my best for this 25k run which is a flat surface, I am prepared and I am strong. I am hoping for a world record it is possible.”
Ashete Bekere, lives and trains in Sendafa close to Addis Ababa in the group of Mersha Asrat together with Birhanu Legese, won the Berlin Marathon in 2019 and Rotterdam Marathon as well as the 2018 winner of Valencia Marathon, said: “There are several marathons that I have run and I am prepared for Sunday’s 25k as my injuries are ok. After the Tokyo marathon 2022 and London marathon my injuries are good so I am well prepared and I am hoping for a word record.”
Mercyline Chelangat, a national record holder for Uganada in the half marathon and trains in Kapchorwa in Joshua Cheptegei’s group under coach Addy Ruiter, said: “I am very happy to be here. I have changed my training programme because on track we go for short distances but the marathon is for long distances like 25k or 35k. This is a very important race for me as it is a stepping stone to moving ahead. I am planning to run fast but not too fast because it is my first time running 25k. Sunday will be my longest race ever.”
Tata Steel Kolkata 25km 2022 Elite Field
1.Leonard Barsoton (Kenya)
2.Victor Kiplangat (Uganda)
3.Birhanu Legese (Ethiopia)
4.Kebede Wami (Ethiopia)
5.Alfred Ngeno (Kenya)
6.Abel Sikowo (Uganda-PACE)
7.Abdisa Tola (Ethiopia)
8.Benard Cheptoch (Uganda-PACE)
F2. Ashete Bekere (Ethiopia)
F3. Desi Jisa (Bahrain)
F4. Zeineba Yimer (Ethiopia)
F5. Anchalem Haymanot (Ethiopia)
F6. Mercyline Chelangat (Uganda)
F7. Faith Chepkoech (Kenya)
F8. Tigist Getnet (Ethiopia)
F9. Obse Abdeta (Ethiopia)
F10. Fotyen Tesfay (Ethiopia)

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