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World record attempt on the cards

If a runner of Kenyan ace Lucy Wangui Kabuu's stature speaks about a world record, that too on the eve of the race, she is dead serious. Perhaps this is why the diminutive runner from the East African nation spent lot of time on Saturday mapping the course, which is considered fast but has fair number of turns.

india Updated: Nov 27, 2011 02:07 IST
Navneet Singh

If a runner of Kenyan ace Lucy Wangui Kabuu's stature speaks about a world record, that too on the eve of the race, she is dead serious. Perhaps this is why the diminutive runner from the East African nation spent lot of time on Saturday mapping the course, which is considered fast but has fair number of turns.

When you think of racing fast, says Lucy, it is important to examine the course thoroughly. "It's always good to have a clear picture of the course," the Kenyan said, on her prospects of breaking the world record for the 21km event.

Routes apart, the weather too will hold key to Lucy's dream. The race will begin early morning and it's quite pleasant at this time of the year in the capital.

Besides weather, the Kenyan runner will face stiff competition from the Ethiopian contingent. http://www.hindustantimes.com/images/HTPopups/271111/27-11-pg20b.jpg

To support Lucy in her attempt to better the world record, there will the two male rabbits, or pace-setters.

The job of the pace-setters, Kenya’s Simon Tonui and John Mutai, will be to carry the leading group of elite female runners at a pace that would help them finish the race in record time.

On the men's side, a time of below 59 minutes is possible, according to Ian Ladbrooke the manager of the foreign athletes in the event. He put his money on Kenya's Sammy Kitwara.

"He (Sammy) only competes when he is in good form," said Ladbrooke.

He also singled out Ethiopia's upcoming distance star Feyisa Lilesa. "He is an aggressive runner, let's see how he race Sunday event," said the Ladbrooke.

Indian challenge

With defending champion Irappa Akki out of the race due to injury, 25-year-old Kheta Ram will be one to watch.

In the women's group, field is wide open, it paves way for defending champion Lalita Babbar to retain her title.