The Valencia 10K Ibercaja, set for Sunday, January 14, 2024, is already generating excitement as one of the world's fastest 10K events. This race has a history of record-breaking performances, notably with Rhonex Kipruto's world record of 26:24 set in 2020.
In the women's category, all eyes are on Kenyan athlete Agnes Jebet Ngetich. Coming off a strong performance in Lille in 2023 with a time of 29:26, Ngetich is now aiming to surpass the current women's world record of 29:14, held by Yalemzerf Yehualaw. José Enrique Muñoz Acuña, the elite athletes' coordinator, has high expectations for Ngetich, who is in top form to challenge the record, despite Yehualaw's absence due to injury and Jesca Chelangat's withdrawal due to illness.
The men's category features an impressive lineup, headlined by Ugandan Jacob Kiplimo, the current half marathon world record holder. The event will showcase four sub-27 runners, 16 sub-28, and over thirty sub-29 athletes, underlining the high caliber of the competition.
Spanish elite athletes are also in the spotlight, with Abdessamad Oukhelfen in men's and Águeda Marqués and Cristina Ruiz in women's, all arriving in excellent shape and with ambitious goals.
This 10K event is gaining international prominence, attracting athletes from around 15 different nationalities, including Ethiopia, Kenya, France, Great Britain, Holland, Sweden, Poland, Uganda, Norway, and China. This diversity underscores Valencia's status as a global benchmark for the distance.
The race will also feature several national record holders, including Karoline Bjerkeli Grövdal from Norway, Joy Cheptoyek from Uganda, and Francine Niyomukunzi from Burundi. Grövdal, the current European Cross Country Champion, is eyeing the European Women's 10K Record held by Eilish McColgan. Other notable participants include Italy's Nadia Battocletti and Britain's Jessica Warner-Judd.
The men's race includes national 10K record holders like Rodrigue Kwizera (Burundi), Pietro Riva (Italy), and Richard Douma (Netherlands). Additionally, Dominic Lobalu, a refugee athlete from South Sudan now naturalized Swiss, who tied the European 5K Record, will be a competitor to watch.
Overall, the Valencia 10K Ibercaja 2024 promises to be a thrilling event, showcasing some of the world's most talented distance runners in a race that could see new records and remarkable performances.