Phalula powers to victory in Durban

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Phalula Aug 24 Gallo Images Lebogang Phalula crossed the line in 33:06 to claim a big victory in the Durban leg of the Spar Womens Grand Prix series on Sunday.

Durban – Despite claiming a big victory in the Durban leg of the Spar Women’s Grand Prix series on Sunday, Lebogang Phalula says she expected her sister to claim top honours.

Lebogang Phalula crossed the line first in a time of 33 minutes and six seconds (33:06), three places ahead of her sister and series points leader Diana-Lebo Phalula (34:02).

“My race today was great, but I was looking forward to my sister winning the race,” Lebogang Phalula said after the race.

“I told her if she’s not going to win the race, I am going to win.

“She told me to go and leave her alone.”

Zimbabwean Rutendo Nyahora took second in 33:41 and Rene Kalmer dipped under 34 minutes to claim third in a time of 33:49 in the third race of the Grand Prix series.

Phalula began the race in a breakaway group of three led by Irvette van Zyl – and with Mapaseka Makhanya also in the pack.

Van Zyl won the Totalsports Women’s race in Stellenbosch earlier this month in 32:20 Ä the third fastest 10km by a South African woman.

Diana-Lebo Phalula, led at the front at the 3km mark, as Van Zyl fell off the pace.

“I was scared running with Irvette the first kilometres because she ran a 32:20 time recently, so I was panicking,” said Lebogang Phalula.

“But I told myself then to just run my own race.”

By the halfway stage, the Phalula sisters opened up a big gap on the chasers as they passed 5km in 15:50.

Diana-Lebo Phalula, struggling with a hamstring problem, began dropping off the lead at the 6km mark while her sister surged ahead.

After that point, Lebogang Phalula powered her way to the finish for a comfortable victory.

“I was just running against the clock. It was a nice pace today and I’d like to thank Irvette for everything,” she said.

“It was fast, but for me not that fast because I couldn’t feel any pain.

“I started to pick up at 5km, and I just managed to run hard the last part.” – Sapa

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