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Athletics | Running

Kesa Moletsane © Reg Caldecott

Moletsane and Van Zyl well in the lead

After the first two Spar Women’s 10k Challenge races, Kesa Moletsane and Irvette van Zyl have opened a wide gap between themselves and the other contenders on the Spar Grand Prix ladder.

Both earned time bonus points for the second time in the Port Elizabeth Challenge on Saturday. Moletsane, who won in Port Elizabeth and came second in the first race in Cape Town in April, has 59 Grand Prix points, while defending Spar Grand Prix champion Van Zyl, who came third in Cape Town and second in Port Elizabeth, has 57.

The Cape Town winner, Louisa Leballo, finished ninth in Port Elizabeth and has 42 points. Although she is 15 points behind Moletsane, she is not out of the picture. She scored bonus points in Cape Town and could do so again in Durban or Pretoria.

With four races to go, the Spar Grand Prix is still wide open. The eventual winner will probably need to run all six races to make sure of the grand prize of R173 000.

Van Zyl said after the race on Saturday that bonus points would be key in determining the Spar Grand Prix winner this year.

“Kesa and I both got bonus points here, and we will have to try for bonus points in Durban and Pretoria. You can see how Louisa has dropped back by not getting the bonus points here – she has wiped out her 10 point advantage,” said Van Zyl.

Two former Spar Grand Prix winners, Mapaseka Makhanya (2013) and Lebogang Phalula (2015) are in joint fourth position, on 33 points, followed by Nolene Conrad with 31.

There has been disappointment for Zimbabwean Rutendo Nyahora in the first year the Spar Grand Prix has been thrown open to non-South Africans. After being a regular in the top five, and with several wins to her name, Nyahora has only managed ninth and 11th place, and has a total of 22 points. She is in joint ninth place, with Rhudo Monderwa, on 22 points, behind Cornelia Joubert (29) and Glenrose Xaba (23).

In the 50-59 year category, Judy Bird has the maximum of 20 points after two races, having scored bonus points in both. In the veterans category, the top four runners all earned bonus points in Port Elizabeth – a unique achievement in the history of the Grand Prix.

Nedbank, with 213 points, tops the club ladder, with KPMG second, on 176.

The third race is in Durban on 11 June. The Pretoria and Pietermaritzburg races will be run on 5 and 20 August respectively, and the Johannesburg race will be on 8 October.


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