San Juan, Puerto Rico – Mestawet Tufa’s quest to dethrone Lornah Kiplagat at the World’s Best 10K – an IAAF Gold Label Road Race – came up one kilometre short here Sunday evening (24). And in the men’s race, a last minute gaffe by Silas Kipruto cost him the win and a sub-28 minute clocking.
Kiplagat entered the race having won here four times in a row and five total. That put a large bull’s eye on the back of the woman who is the reigning World Cross and World Road Running champion. It was fitting then that at 3km (9:06), Kiplagat led a line of seven contenders, which included Turkey’s Elvan Abeylegesse, Ethiopia’s Elegayehu Dibaba and Tufa.
Kiplagat was controlling the race from the front as is her wont, pushing the pace and playing a game of “see if you can keep up with me.” As the runners turned back onto the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge seven became five and five soon became two. At 5K (15:03) Kiplagat bounced along in orange socks but a woman a head shorter than her was not going away.