Cape Town - The 2022 Absa Run Your City (RYC) Cape Town 10K is fast shaping up to be the most explosive road race in South Africa with the announcement that the Kenyan running star Jesca Chelangat will be back to defend her title.
Her addition to the elite field makes this one of the highest quality running fields for women ever assembled on African soil, for a 10km race.
Event organisers have also confirmed the participation of South Africa’s Tayla Kavanagh, Lesotho’s National 10k record holder, Neheng Khatala and 2021 third-place finisher, Diana Chesang of Kenya.
“We’re committed to continuing adding to the already impressive list of athletes that will toe the line at the seventh edition of the race on Sunday 15 May,” said Michael Meyer, Managing Director of Stillwater Sports and founder of SA’s 10km road running series.
“To say that the women’s elite race is going to be world-class and nail-biting is an understatement and that is exactly what we want. We are proud to allow SA’s elite runners to face the World’s best runners here on home soil.
"We’d like to encourage all South Africans to show their support, either at the event or from their living rooms as the event will be broadcast live on SuperSport.”
"We also want to encourage women of all levels and abilities to enter the event and run with these icons of female running. Show your support for the strength of women in the sport of running in Africa!
"There are very few sports in the world where the best in the world can line up at the start with athletes of all abilities. Road running is a fantastic sport in that way.”
The Absa RYC Series have announced the participation of two global female super stars: Stella Chesang & Mercyline Chelangat at the 7th annual Absa RYC CAPE TOWN 10K on Sun 15 May 22.— Cape Town 10K (@CapeTown10K) April 12, 2022
Read more here: https://t.co/3rpICj2Y8s#AbsaRunYourCity #RunYourCity @AbsaSouthAfrica pic.twitter.com/IRlgTK2GdT
Looking back, Chelangat took control of the 2021 race in the final 2km and surged away.
In 2022, she will be a marked lady courtesy of that win. Chelangat has raced but once so far in 2022, running 35:25 at the Agnes Tirop Cross Country Classic over 10km in Eldoret on 12 February.
As a result, she will enter Cape Town on fresh legs, making her a dangerous contender. Boasting a 15:52.02 for 5000m (run at 1795m altitude in Nairobi) in 2021, Chelangat not only has raw speed but also the endurance to back it up.
But Chelangat will not have it all her own way come race day. Ugandans Stella Chesang (winner of the 2018 Durban 10K, setting a lifetime best of 31:14) and Mercyline Chelangat (winner of the 2017 Durban 10K) will mount a serious challenge, as will Kavanagh, Khatala and Chesang.