Previews25 Nov 2016

Buud and Zakrzewski the favourites at IAU 100km World Championships


Sweden's 2015 IAU 100km world champion Jonas Buud (© Getty Images)

Jonas Buud of Sweden and Joasia Zakrzewski of Great Britain will lead the field at the 29th IAU 100km World Championships in Los Alcazares, Spain on Sunday (27).

In the men's race Buud, who clocked 6:22:44 at last year’s championship, will start as the defending champion. Among his chief rivals are David Gatebe of South Africa, winner of this year’s Comrades Marathon, alongside his teammate Gift Kelehe, the Comrades winner in 2015. The Comrades Marathon, an 89km race between the South African cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg, is the world's largest and oldest ultramarathon.

Geoff Burns of the US ran 6:30:37 at the Mad City 100km in Madison, Wisconsin, this year and will be looking at using that speed to make the podium. Meanwhile Asier Cuevas of Spain, the reigning silver medallist, will be running on his home soil and should be in the hunt for another top-three finish. Italy’s Giorgio Calcaterra, who has several world titles under his belt, will also be looking at finishing in the top three having won bronze last year in 6:36:49.

In the women's race, 2015 winner Camille Herron of the US will not be returning to defend her title, leaving Zakrzewski as the woman to beat. The Briton has the credentials, having run 7:31:33 at last year's championships where she finished fifth. Chiyuki Mochizuki of Japan will be hoping to run up at the front as well having finished second in 2014 in a time of 7:38:20.

Another athlete to watch is Frida Sodermark, who with a 7:52:05 performance to her credit, will be looking to continue the dominance of the Swedish runners on the international stage. Meghan Arbogast of the US, who clocked 7:52:12 at the 2014 world championships and Laurence Klein of France, who ran 7:56:24 at last year's world championships, will be in the hunt for a podium spot as well.

Los Alcazares is a small coastal town in the province of Murcia in southeastern Spain, renowned for its clean and well-maintained beaches. Several portions of the 10km looped course run along the coast line.

A masters championship organised by the World Masters Athletics (WMA) will be contested concurrently.

Nadeem Khan (organisers) for the IAAF