MANCHESTER (GBR): The Great Manchester Run 10km (IAAF Gold Label) takes place on Sunday with a fantastic women’s race in store. Track star Meseret Defar will make her comeback after maternity leave in a race that also includes global marathon champions Tiki Gelana and Edna Kiplagat. Kiplagat is the fastest of the three, with a 31:18 best from 2010. Defar only has one 10 km to her name. She had been originally set to make her return at the Boston Indoor Grand Prix, but didn’t compete in the end. Gelana has shown the best form this year, running 2:24:26 for third at the Tokyo Marathon, her best performance since 2012. However, it may not necessarily be an African affair as European 10,000m champion Jo Pavey and Gemma Steel will provide a strong British challenge. Both are well versed over 10km, Pavey with a 31:47 best set in 2007 and Steel with a 31:27 best, set in 2014. The men’s race is fronted by former marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang of Kenya, who finished runner-up in last year’s race. On that occasion he was beaten by Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele. This time his Ethiopian rival will be Haile Gebrselassie who is aiming for his sixth victory, with his last title coming in 2012. Stepping up in distance for his first road 10km is the USA’s Bernard Lagat. Last year’s third placer, Stephen Mokoka of South Africa and 10km world record holder Leonard Komon of Kenya provide further depth at the head of the field.
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