A world-class field will aim for very good times once more at the ASICS Grand 10 race in Berlin this Sunday. Only two weeks after the Berlin Marathon produced a world record the next major road race will be started in the German capital. The ASICS Grand 10 is Germany's fastest 10K race. The sixth edition will see the return of world record holder Leonard Komon. Fellow Kenyan Joyce Chepkirui is the women's favourite. Her aim is to significantly improve the course record. Organisers from BERLIN RUNS expect more than 7,000 participants on Sunday.
10K world record holder Leonard Komon (26:44) also holds the course record of the ASICS Grand 10. The Kenyan ran 27:12 in 2010. He then returned to the race in 2011 and 2012, winning on both occassions. Now he targets victory number four at what obviously is his favourite 10K race. But the 25 year-old will face tough opposition on Sunday. Among Komon's rivals there is the fastest 10K runner of the year, Adugna Takele. The Ethiopian clocked 27:30 in Taroudant (Marocco) this March.
The season's best will be a target on Sunday. And there are two more Kenyans, who feature personal bests of sub 28 minutes. Titus Mbishei has a PB of 27:32 while Richard Mengich achieved 27:56 so far. Another one to watch is the reigning European 10,000 m champion. Originally from Kenya Polat Kemboi Arikan competes for Turkey nowadays. He won the European gold in 2012 and later that year was ninth in the Olympic 10,000 m final. His 10K best stands at 28:17, a time he could improve on Sunday.
Meanwhile Germany's André Pollmächer could be in for another good performance in Berlin. The former European 10,000 m Cup winner improved his marathon PB to 2:13:05 at the Berlin Marathon. After a series of injuries he hopes for another fine result in the capital. Pollmächer's 10K personal best stands at 28:46.
In contrast to the men's time the women's course record of the ASICS Grand 10 has not yet reached world-class standard. Mara Yamauchi (Great Britain) holds this mark with 32:19 from 2011. But with Joyce Chepkirui on the starting line on Sunday it looks like the record could be significantly improved. The Kenyan is the sixth fastest 10K runner ever. In 2011 she clocked 30:38 minutes in Tilburg (Netherlands). The 25 year-old has shown fine form recently, when she took the 10K race in Utrecht with 31:20. May be Chepkirui will even be able to reach the German allcomers record. Irina Mikitenko established this mark with 30:57 in Karlsruhe in 2008.
Joyce Chepkirui's strongest rival at the ASICS Grand 10 should come from Ethiopia: Tadelech Bekele has a PB of 33:12. Italy's reigning 10K champion Veronica Inglese (33:14) will also compete on the fast Berlin course.
More information is available online at: Berlin-Runs.com.
Leonard Komon winning the ASICS Grand 10 in 2012. Credit essential: BERLIN RUNS