Elroy Gelant (CNW) won the men's title at the SA 10km Championships ahead of defending champion Lucky Mohale (CGA) in cold conditions at the Diskobolos Defence Force Sport Grounds in Kimberley.
Gelant clocked 28:36, improving his sixth place finish time of 2011.
The race was off to a very quick start with Mohale leading from the gun, his goal, to dip under the 28min mark.
Stephen Mokoka (AGN), Gladwin Mzazi (AGN), Kgosi Tsosane (AGN), Gelant and Frik Guys (CGA) were just some of the athletes to make up part of the leading group.
Gelant broke away from the group just after the 8km mark. At the 9km mark Mohale and Desmond Mokgobu (CGA) were falling further behind with Mokoka and Mzazi trailing even further.
“The race started very fast and I was very comfortable throughout. It was after the 7km mark that I realised that I can do it,” said Gelant after the race.
“This race is a great test of my fitness as I will be travelling overseas soon to run the 5000m.”
Gelant will be trying to qualify for the Olympic Games in the 5000m.
Second place finisher Mohale clocked 28:49 with teammate Mokgobu crossing the line third in 28:54.
Mokoka and Joel Monne finished in 28:55 and 28:59 respectively.
Irvette van Blerk (CGA) claimed victory in the women's race ahead of teammate Lebo Phalula.
Van Blerk, who has qualified for the Olympic Games in the marathon, won the race in 33:21.
“I really did not think I was going to win. Lebo started so fast that I only caught up at the 5km mark. It was really tough,” said Van Blerk.
After doing most of the hard work, Phalula crossed the line second in 33:37.
Portia Ngwenya (AGN) finished third in 34:13. Christine Kalmer (CGA) and Zintle Xiniwe (WPA) finished fourth and fifth, their times 34:15 and 34:45 respectively.
Sithembile Dondolo (CGA) won the junior men's race ahead of Adam Lipshirtz (KZNA) and Dithetogo Poncho (AGN) in 31:05.
Lipshirtz clocked 31:17 while Poncho crossed the line in 31:40.
In the junior women's race, Thabisa Sirayi claimed victory in 35:48 with Monique Stander (36:14) from CGA and Gauteng North's Olivia Labuschagne (36:41) finishing in silver and bronze positions respectively. – Sapa