Kabelo Mulaudzi and Cian Oldknow reigned victorious at the Hollywoodbets Durban 10km race on Sunday morning and immediately cast their eyes on the bigger fish of the World Championships.
Mulaudzi, who was winning a third consecutive 10km race in under a month, will be participating at the South African Cross Country Championships on the 17th in Rustenburg intent on earning the right to represent the country at the world event taking place in Croatia next February.
Oldknow, the Hollywood Athletics Club starlet, is a member of the South African women’s team that will be competing at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Riga, Lativa at the end of the month.
Having become a member of the sub 28 club with his 27: 56 run which delivered success at the Absa Run Your City Durban 10K last month, the Boxer Athletic Club runner won the inaugural Tshwane leg of the popular series in last Sunday.
He thus lined up for the start of the country’s richest 10km race just outside the Kings Park Stadium Sunday morning as favourite to complete a hat-trick of victories and swell his bank account by a cool R35 000.
But it did not immediately look like he would do so as he hung at the back of the lead bunch with his teammate Nichlas Seoposengwe setting the early pace along with the highly experienced Elroy Gelant who also runs for Boxer.
“My body was sore when we started. It was not responding well, but after the six kilometre mark my body started to pick up and I went to the front and picked up the pace. I was trying hard to hang in there and wait for the right time to pounce. But I knew I was going to pull away in the last two kilometres,” Mulaudzi said after the race, adding that he is ‘very happy to win this race. It’s three out of three.’
Now his focus shifts to the cross country: “This week I am going to take my training slowly and then I am going to run the national cross country championships on September 17 in Rustenburg. My main goal this year has been that I must win the championships so I can qualify for next year’s world champs.”
He also has ambitions of being crowned 10km king at the national championships set for Mbombela in November.
Personal best for Oldknow
For Oldknow, the victory she attained in a Personal Best time of 32:17 was a huge confidence booster ahead of the global 21.1km event on October 1.
“I have the World Half Marathon Championships In Latvia. This was one of the preparation races for that. I am feeling good but we still have a bit of some training to do before we go there. I’m really excited and looking forward to it.”
She was understandably delighted with the run she had: “I had a nice, good run today. I went to the front at about six kilometres. I was a little bit nervous because I never take the lead that early in a race. But I was feeling good and I went for it. I just felt good in the last kilometre. I don’t know my exact time but it must be a 32:10 which is about a 30 second PB for me.”