Solomon Kipyego Keter closes in on his race win. Photo: Richard Castka

Solomon Keter shatters his own Hong Kong all-comers 10km record

Kenyan earns HK$20,000 bonus prize after storming run trims 13 seconds off previous time

Kenya's Solomon Kipyego Keter shattered his own Hong Kong 10-kilometre all-comers record with a blistering run at Siu Lek Yuen on Sunday, picking up a healthy HK$20,000 bonus prize for his efforts.

The 22-year-old athlete from Kenya's distance-running capital of Eldoret blasted away when the starter's gun brought the Mizuno Shek Mun 10K to life at 8.30am, and immediately put fresh air between himself and the chasing pack of 1,600.

I've done well in the three races I've had so far so I plan to keep coming back to Hong Kong
Solomon Kipyego Keter

The flat and fast route out to Ma On Shan and back allowed Keter to open the throttle and extend his lead, and he crossed the finish line in a new personal best of 29 minutes and four seconds to take 13 seconds off the record he set in a 10km race in Sha Tin in March last year.

"It was a good race for me today despite not being pushed by my teammates," said Keter, who will next week compete in a 10km race in Singapore and then a half-marathon the following week in Nanning on the mainland before returning to his home in Kenya.

"I love racing in Hong Kong," added Keter, who earlier this year ran 64-minute half-marathon times in Taiwan, Indonesia and Thailand, and also a 2:20 marathon in Tianjin in October.

"I've done well in the three races I've had so far so I plan to keep coming back to Hong Kong."

Keter placed third in the Diamond Mile in Central last year, just one month after becoming the only athlete to run sub-30 minutes in Hong Kong.

"Solomon is a very talented runner," said his manager Thomas Kiprotich. "He runs up to 150km in training and he's currently doing very well at the 10km and half-marathon distances. I think he'll be ready to run very fast times at the marathon distance in another couple of years."

Kiprotich said his growing stable of Kenyans can earn a decent living from Asian events when prize money and time bonus payments are on offer.

"After he's paid for his air ticket and other expenses Solomon can expect to go home after three or four weeks in Asia with as much as HK$30,000, which in Kenya is a lot of money," he said.

Fellow Kenyans Joel Kiplimo Kemboi and Stanley Cheruiyot Teimet placed second and third respectively yesterday in 31:37 and 32:37, while defending champion Man Siu-kit was the first local runner over the line in 34:16 in placing fourth.

Cecilia Michael Wayua won the women's race in 36:02 well ahead of Kenyan compatriot Lourine Chepchirchir Mutai (39:34) in second and local girl Kong Lai-ming (40:11) in third.

"Cecilia was hoping to run a faster time but it was quite humid today," said Kiprotich.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Keter smashes his own all-comers 10km record