Birell Prague Grand Prix welcomes 2018’s top male 10 km runners and women looking to challenge the thirty minute barrier

The twenty-third Birell Prague Grand Prix 5 & 10 km gets underway in two weeks which will see the world’s crème de la crème flock to the illuminated evening streets of the Czech capital. Names to watch out for among the men include the defender of last year’s title, Benard Kimeli as well as the two fastest men on this year’s 10k rankings Rhonex Kipruto and Mathew Kimeli. When it comes to the women, the second fastest half marathon runner of all time Fancy Chemutai is the favourite, but she will face a challenge from her compatriot Caroline Kipkirui and others. Czech fans will be gearing up to salute Eva Vrabcová-Nývltová after her recent marathon bronze medal from the European Championships in Berlin. Meanwhile Jiří Homoláč and Vít Pavlišta are likely to battle it out for the top spot on the podium among the Czech men. 

Each year Birell Prague Grand Prix (an IAAF Gold Label road race) appeals to first-rate athletes and this year is no exception. According to the President of the RunCzech Organising Committee and Chairman of the IAAF Road Running Commission, Carlo Capalbo, “the start list for the ten kilometre race is truly excellent and I think we can expect some really fast times again this year.”

Jana Moberly who coordinates the elite athletes stated “The competition, especially among women, is going to be fierce,” adding: “Kenyan representatives Fancy Chemutai and Caroline Kipkirui both have a decent chance of breaking the thirty minute threshold. That said only one woman has managed to achieve this on the road,” referring, of course, to Joyciline Jepkosgei’s world record of 29:43 from last year’s Birell Prague Grand Prix. She was also the first Kenyan ever to break six world records in six months. Europeans featuring in the Prague race include Swedish runner Sarah van der Wiellen and British representative Emelia Gorecka, with Japanese runner Yuka Takashima also set to take part.

Eva Vrabcová-Nývltová is undoubtedly the biggest crowd puller for Czech fans. At the recent European championship, the Czech long-distance runner saw a dream come true when she won a bronze medal in the greatest success of her career to date. She’ll certainly be keen to prove to everyone in Prague that her success in Berlin wasn’t just a coincidence. Right now though her priority is to rest up before the TCS New York City marathon.

“I’m just relaxing a bit and plan to start jogging with my dog Bella from next week onwards and I also want to get on my bike to treat my body to a different form of exercise. My training will focus on completing the New York marathon, though I want to give it my best shot in Prague and make people happy,” Eva-Vrabcová Nývltová reveals.

It could be argued that the men’s start line is of an even higher calibre. Sporting the number one shirt will be defender of last year’s victory title Benard Kimeli (who has since managed to also triumph at this year’s Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon) with the number two shirt going to the fresh junior world champion in the 10 000 metres and the fastest man on this year’s world rankings on the road 10K Rhonex Kipruto. A total of ten competing runners including Kenya’s Mathew Kimeli, Ethiopia’s Berta Belihu, Germany’s Richard Ringer and Belgium’s Soufiane Bouchikhi have broken 28:00 for 10 km. A strong team will also be coming from Japan, while British runner Luke Traynor, who triumphed at the Mattoni České Budějovice Half Marathon in June, will also be taking part.

The main Birell 10K Race kicks off from Republic Square at 19.30 CEST on Saturday 8th September and broadcast live on ČT sport and streamed at The adidas Women’s 5 km Race will start at 18:00 on the same day and will host thousands of women only.



KIMELI Bernard | KEN | 27:10
KIPRUTO Rhonex | KEN | 27:08
KIMELI Mathew | KEN | 27:11
BELIHU Berta | ETH | 27:08.94
BOUCHIKI Soufiane | BEL | 27:41.20
TRAYNOR Luke | GBR | 29:08.52
ZEMANÍK Jakub | CZE | 29:10
HOMOLÁČ Jiří | CZE | 29:52
PAVLIŠTA Vít | CZE | 29:57

CHEMUTAI Fancy | KEN | 30:06
KIPKIRUI Caroline Chepkoech | KEN | 30:45
TUITOEK Dorcas Jepchirchir | KEN | 31:00
MUNANU Mary Waitira | KEN | 31:20
van der WIELEN-LAHTI Sarah | SWE | 31:28.43
TAKASHIMA Yuka | JPN | 31:33.33
GORECKA Emelia | GBR | 32:39.37
STEWARTOVÁ Moira | CZE | 33:41
KAMÍNKOVÁ Petra | CZE | 33:38