Kolkata: Reigning European 10,000m champion Lonah Salpeter of Israel will be the star attraction in the elite women’s field in the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K here on December 25.
Besides Salpeter, the elite women’s field includes several other talented runners.
Tanzania’s Failuna Matanga is a familiar face in Kolkata after having finished third in the last two years and she will come obviously come motivated to move up a place or two on the podium.
The Ethiopia pair of Birke Debele and Guteni Shone have won important international marathons this year, the Riga Marathon and Sevilla Marathon respectively, and should also be bidding for one of the leading positions.
The men’s field will boast of Kenya’s Leonard Barsoton and Ethiopia’s Tariku Bekele, brother of the 2017 winner Kenenisa Bekele.
Barsoton is a two-time world cross country silver medallist as a U-20 runner in 2013 and then as a senior in 2017, while Bekele was a world indoor champion over 3000m in 2008 and 10,000m bronze medallist at the London 2012 Olympics.
In addition, Eritrea’s Tsegay Tuemay and Ethiopia’s Bayelign Yegsaw will return to Kolkata. The pair were second in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Men: Leonard Barsoton (KEN), Solomon Deksisa (ETH) Tariku Bekele (ETH), Bayelign Yegsaw (ETH), Daniel Chebii (KEN), Betesfa Getahun (ETH), Tsegay Tuemay (ERI), Ben Somikwo (UGA), Desmond Mokgobu (RSA) and Faraja Damasi (TAN).
Women: Lonah Salpeter (ISR), Birke Debele (ETH), Failuna Matanga (TAN), Tejitu Daba (BRN), Guteni Shone (ETH), Nazret Weldu (ERI), Chaltu Kekabo (ETH) and Magdalena Shauri (TAN).