Irvette equals Zola’s best time

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iol spt aug9 Irvette Van Zyl Gallo Images File picture: Olympic marathon runner Irvette van Zyl smashed her 10km personal best, coasting to a comfortable victory at the Totalsports Women's Race in Stellenbosch. Photo by Reg Caldecott / Gallo Images

Johannesburg – Olympic marathon runner Irvette van Zyl smashed her 10km personal best by half a minute on Saturday, coasting to a comfortable victory at the Totalsports Women's Race in Stellenbosch.

Van Zyl crossed the finish line in 32 minutes, 20 seconds (32:20), to improve her previous career record of 32:50 set in Durban in June 2011.

Her time equalled Zola Budd's personal best as the third fastest 10km performances by South African women on the road.

Budd clocked 32:20 in Bloemfontein in August 1983, at the age of 17, which still stands as the SA junior record.

Only former half-marathon world record holder Elana Meyer and Colleen de Reuck, who is now a US citizen, have run faster over the distance.

Van Zyl's training partner and fellow Olympian, Rene Kalmer, took second place in 33:33.

Meanwhile, at the Johannesburg leg of the women's 10km series, held on the same day as the Western Cape race as part of Women's Day celebrations, Lebogang Phalula strode to a decisive win in 36:01.

Phalula was more than a minute clear of Mapaseka Makhanya, who finished second in 37:09. – Sapa


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