PORT ELIZABETH - Mapaseka Makhanya has backed Kesa Molotsane to go all the way and challenge to win the Spar 10km Women’s race Grand Prix in her debut series.
This comes after 32-year old runner saw how Molotsane close down a massive gap that Irvette van Zyl had maintained for most of Saturday’s Spar Women’s second leg race in Port Elizabeth, and how she was able to surpass her and grab the lead with just 2km to go.
Molotsane won in a time of 33:13, eight seconds ahead of Spar Women’ series defending champion, Van Zyl.
Mapaseka, who finished third, 19 seconds behind Van Zyl, said that given the kind of speed that Molotsane demonstrated she had what it took to pull of a surprise in this year’s series.
“I’m just glad that we have some new blood coming through to compete,” Mapaseka said. “We cannot keep seeing the same faces year-in and year-out scooping the winner’s prize all the time. We need new faces who will also rise to the challenge and prove (to the world) that there is talent in this country.
“Kesa is one of those special talents. I told her that I also won this Grand Prix in my debut season (back in 2013), coming from a track running background, too.
“She must just continue with whatever she’s been doing,” Makhanya added. “I also told her that whatever victory comes her way, she must just continue being humble. I believe this is also a stepping stone for her as this is not a once off race but a national one. I wish her all of the very best and with the speed that she has, she has a chance (of winning it).”
Meanwhile, the 2013 Spar 10Km Women’s race series winner expressed that the level of competition in this women’s race has escalated for the better, adding that she’s hoping to be among the top three when this series comes to an end.
“In the past years, a 33:40 would win you a Spar Women’s race,” Makhanya said. “But now you can’t. It would only earn you a top three finish. The level of competitiveness in this women’s race has gone up, which is a good thing.
“I’m not in a contention to win it. However, I’ll be happy with a top three finish when the Grand Prix comes to an end.
“I’m not even close to where I was back in 2013,” Makhanya added. “But this is the fastest time I’ve run in Port Elizabeth.
"I’m very pleased with that. But having said that, we’ll have to wait and see how the season will pan out for me.”
Mohau Ramashidja was in Port Elizabeth courtesy of Spar