Kenyan elite ready to seize for victory at the Birell Prague Grand Prix


The very best Kenyan long-distance runners, a decent field of European athletes, and of course the Czech representatives. On 7th September, all eyes will turn to the Birell Prague Grand Prix 5&10 km, an IAAF Gold Label race. The race has also earned itself worldwide prestige for its 10K world record in the women’s category.

This year’s main draw is Kenyan runner Geoffrey Koech, who boasts the thirteenth best performance of all time. He proved his abilities at this year’s Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon with a time of just over one hour, following this up with a 10K delivery four seconds shy of the 28-minute boundary in the Dutch town of Wierden.

Nineteen-year-old Vincent Kiprotich Kibet has a very bright future ahead with an excellent personal best of 27:21 from Berlin 2019. Other hot favourites include twenty-two year old Ethiopian runner Jemal Yimer Mekonnen with the fastest debut time in history in the half marathon as well as Vedic Kipkoech, who took bronze at this year’s 10K in Valencia. Not forgetting the wild card Benard Kimeli who’s currently on great form.

Number two on the women’s historical rankings (30:06), Fancy Chemutai will be keen to break through the thirty minute barrier. She broke a world record here two years ago, however unfortunately for her, it happened just as Joyciline Jepkosgei delivered an even better one of 29:43 making her the world record holder. Her current time is also well within range for successors Gloria Kite and Norah Jeruto. With a fresh personal best under her belt, Dorcas Jepchumba Kimeli is another runner to watch out for.

Leading the men’s Czech start field is the current national marathon champion Vít Pavlišta. And not only does he shine on shorter distances, he also loves to train on them around his home city of Liberec. The outstanding athlete who continues to hold down a full-time job, ran his best time of 29:52 five years ago at another race in Prague. While he focuses on long-distance training, he continues to do well on the 10K, delivering times just over the thirty-minute mark, having proven such at five road races over the past year.

He will face competition from his traditional rival at half marathon events David Vaš (from České Budějovice) who is showing great potential. Then there’s veteran runner Tomáš Navrátil, who at thirty-one continues to rank among the elite field and specialises in 10K road races. He’s looking in great shape ahead of the Grand Prix following a new personal best (31:31) in May of this year.

The Czech women’s field is also looking exciting with several contenders thirsty for victory. Thirty-two year old Hana Homolková is in good shape right now, and her most recent time of 36:08 makes her the hot favourite to win.


Name | Nationality | Personal record
Geoffrey Koech | KEN | 27:18
Vincent Kiprotich Kibet | KEN | 27:21
Jemal Yimer Mekonnen | ETH | 27:54
Vedic Kipkoech | KEN | 27:26
Amos Kurgat | KEN | 27:32
Bravin Kipkogei Kiptoo | KEN | 27:31
Kennedy Kimutai | KEN | 27:38
Abraham Kipyatich | KEN | 27:38
Hicham Amghar | MAR | 27:46
Mbuleli Maxwell Mantanga | RSA | 27:48
Benard Kimeli | KEN | 27:10
Edward Kibet Kiprop | KEN | 27:50
Jophat Chumo | KEN | 27:58
James Bunuka | KEN | 27:45
Hamid Ben Daoud | ESP | 28:07
Daniel Kipchumba Chebii | KEN | 27:35
Sebastian Hendel | GER | 28:27
Nicolae Alexandru Soare | ROM | 28:54
Napoleon Solomon | SWE | 28:33
Philipp Pflieger | GER | 28:40
Eric Rüttimann | SUI | 29:34
Arkadiusz Gardzielewski | POL | 29:14
Mehdi Frere | FRA | 29:27
Jaume Leiva Beato | ESP | 29:53
Vít Pavlišta | CZE | 29:52
Arne Gabius | GER | 28:07
Felix Plinke | GER | 30:01
David Vaš | CZE | 31:34
Tomáš Navrátil | CZE | 31:31
Milan Janoušek | CZE | 31:25

Women | Nationality | Personal record
Fancy Chemutai | KEN | 30:06
Gloria Kite | KEN | 30:26
Norah Jeruto | KEN | 30:57
Dorcas Jepchumba Kimeli | KEN | 31:09
Alemaddis Eyayu | ETH | 31:39
Sheila Chepkirui | KEN | 30:28
Irine Chepet Cheptai | KEN | 31:45
Naumi Vaati Ndolo | KEN | 32:13
Darya Mykhailova | UKR | 32:27
Monicah Jepkemoi Chirchir | KEN | 32:28
Clara Evans | GBR | 33:20
Matea Parlov | CRO | 35:00
Hana Homolková | CZE | 36:08
Petra Kamínková | CZE | 32:28