by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – MELIKHAYA Frans is eager to make it multiple Nelson Mandela Bay wins in a row when the starting pistol fires off at the returning Nelson Mandela Bay Half Marathon on Saturday.
The in-form athlete is upbeat ahead of the returning race following impressive outing in 2018, with four finishes around 28 minutes completes already this year.
These include the Absa Run Your City in Cape Town and most recently, the Nelson Mandela Bay Freedom Run, which he defended in Motherwell in May.
The Ikamva Athletic Club runners achieved his personal best of 28 minutes 16 seconds at the St Albans Nelson Mandela Bay 10km series in April last year.
This as local and international competitions returned after the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.
“My preparations are going well,” the 32-year-old said ahead of the half marathon set for this weekend.
“I’m just focusing on Saturday’s race, then after that focus on the World Championships.”
Frans is upbeat ahead of the race for which he is considered a favourite.
“Training is very exciting,” he told CAJ News Africa.
“During my speed works, I have noted that I’m consistent. So, I’m excited and can’t wait.”
Organisers are expecting some 1 500 runners to descend on the Nelson Mandela Bay for the race guaranteeing R80 000 for the winner.
These include more than 20 international and foreign athletes from Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya and neighouring Zimbabwe.
The race holds World Athletics Elite Label status and will also serve as the Athletics South Africa Half Marathon National Championships.
– CAJ News