Irvette van Zyl in action during a race. Photo: Stephen Granger/Independent Media

PIETERMARITZBURG - Kesa Moletsane was supposed to be at the World Student Games in Taiwan with the South African team, but the KPMG athlete thought the fifth leg of Spar Women’s 10km Challenge was too important to miss. So she asked for permission to join the team later.

With a special permission granted, the current Spar Grand Prix log leader will be hoping to be the first one to cross the finish line on Sunday. The race will start and finish at Pietermaritzburg Oval.

If she wins the race it will be her second victory after she won the Port Elizabeth leg. She has also been declared the winner of the Cape Town race, after the winner, Louisa Leballo, was removed from the Grand Prix standings because she failed an out-of-competition dope test.

With four races completed, and two to go, Moletsane has 107 points, giving her a 19-point lead over Nedbank club member Irvette van Zyl, who has 88 points.

Van Zyl won the Pretoria race two weeks ago in 34.36 minutes, while Moletsane finished third, behind Nolene Conrad. All three earned 10 bonus points for finishing within the target time set by the race organisers.

Van Zyl was elevated to second place in Cape Town, and finished second in Port Elizabeth. However, she had to drop out of the Durban race because of injury. Conrad was sixth in Cape Town, fourth in Port Elizabeth and eighth in Durban, proving that runners can do well in the Grand Prix if their results are consistent.

“Louisa being banned doesn’t really affect the Grand Prix,” said Van Zyl. “It just means that Kesa and I get an extra point each. 

"I haven’t given up on winning the Grand Prix this year. I won it last year, despite not being able to run the Pretoria race because I was injured."

The three-time Grand Prix winner said she has set her sights on doing well in the two remaining Challenge races, in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday and in Johannesburg on October 8.

“And I am also training for the Cape Town Marathon on September 17,” said Van Zyl.

Moletsane, who is running in the SPAR Challenge Series for the first time this year, said she was determined to stay ahead of the pack in the race for the Grand Prix title.

Pretoria News

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