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Strong international presence for Spar Women's Race in Eastern Cape

Kesa Molotsane during the 28th Spar Women's 10km Challenge Grand Prix at Green Point Stadium on September 04, 2021 in Cape Town, South Africa. Picture: Carl Fourie

Kesa Molotsane during the 28th Spar Women's 10km Challenge Grand Prix at Green Point Stadium on September 04, 2021 in Cape Town, South Africa. Picture: Carl Fourie

Published May 25, 2022

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Gqeberha - There will be a strong international flavour at the Spar Women’s 10km Grand Prix race in Gqeberha on Saturday.

The six-race series, with generous prize money for each race, as well as a substantial prize for the overall winner of the Grand Prix has become a pan-African event, attracting top runners from several African countries.

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In addition to the 2019 and 2021 Grand Prix winners, Helalia Johannes of Namibia and Tadu Nare of Ethiopia, runners from Egypt, Zimbabwe and Lesotho will be taking part.

The exposure to top runners from elsewhere in Africa has done wonders for South African runners, who are posting faster times than before.

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There is a full international athletics calendar this year, with the African championships in Mauritius in June, the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, in July and August and the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon later in August.

This means that some runners will miss some of the races, as they focus on preparing for international events.

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After consultation with her management team, the 2018 Grand Prix winner, Glenrose Xaba of Boxer, will run three races at most, as she concentrates on these events as well as the world half marathon championships in November.

Although Xaba will miss the race in Gqeberha on Saturday, several former Grand Prix winners will be competing. There will be three-time winners Irvette van Zyl (Nedbank) and Rene Kalmer (Murray & Roberts); Kesa Molotsane (Murray & Roberts), who won in 2017, and the Phalula twins, Diana-Lebo and Lebogang (Boxer).

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Some other runners to look out for include Cian Oldknow and Tayla Kavanagh (Murray & Roberts) and Cacisile Sosibo, who will spearhead the Boxer team.

The race will be run at the Nelson Mandela University on Saturday morning over two 5km laps. Spectators will be allowed.

IOL Sport

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