Xolisa Tyali (left) is over his injuries and confident of putting in a good time at teh Cape Town Marathon. Photo: Stephen Granger

JOHANNESBURG - Xolisa Tyali believes he is over the injuries he has suffered this year and is ready to challenge for glory at the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon next month.

The Olifantsfontein Running Club athlete from Tsolo in the Eastern Cape was forced out of South African Half Marathon championship in Port Elizabeth due to a hamstring strain recently.

He has since run an impressive 70-minute half marathon to finish second at the Old Eds Road Race. The hamstring setback followed an Achilles tendon injury that forced him to quit mid-race during the Rotterdam Marathon earlier in the year.

He is on the list of elite athletes who will participate in Africa’s sole IAAF Gold Label Status race in the Mother City on September 23 and is raring to live up to his billing as one of the potential winners.

“The Achilles has long healed and I think I have recovered from the hamstring that forced me out of the South African Half Marathon. I ran the race very well from start to finish in Johannesburg (Old Eds). It was a good race for me. Now I want to run in Cape Town, these injuries will not stop me,” said Tyali.

Tyali believes the presence in the race of stablemates Desmond Mokgobu and Lucky Mazibuko, along with the South African half marathon champion Stephen Mokoka, will boost his chances.

“I am glad that Desmond and Mazibuko as well as Stephen will be part of the race. We will be hunting in groups just like those east African athletes. They are strong when they are running in groups and we’ve learnt to do that because we realised that if we run alone it becomes an uphill battle. It is good that Stephen won the (national half marathon) Championship and Desmond ran 61 minutes. They will assist me on the day of the race,” said Tyali.

The 29-year-old also believes the race record of 2:08:41, set by defending champion Asefa Negewo of Ethiopia, could fall this year: “We can break his record. It will depend on the pacemaker. If he can make us run three minutes per kilometre then, with the athletes of Stephen and Desmond’s calibre, anything is possible. I believe that we can run 2:07,” said the man whose best time at the event is a 2:13.19 which he ran last year to finish in eighth spot.

Independent Media is the official media partner of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon.

The Star

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