by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – BACK-to-back wins, excellent times in each of the three races so far and the absence of her main rival in the next race, champion Tadu Nare is on course to defend her Spar Grand Prix title.
However, with one hand on the title, the Ethiopian is neither getting carried away nor resting on her laurels.
The 21-year-old has won the Mbombela Spar Grand Prix Women’s 10km race recently.
She has 89 points, including bonus points for running brilliant times in each of the three races so far in this year’s series.
Nare was second in the opening race in Gqeberha and won the second one in Durban.
Nare is one point ahead of her Nedbank Running Club teammate, Helalia Johannes of Namibia.
Johannes, the 2019 Spar Grand Prix, who won the Cape Town leg but was second to Nare in Durban and Mbombela, will miss the Tshwane race on August 6 because she will be defending her Commonwealth Games marathon title in Birmingham, England.
Nare’s fellow Ethiopian and Nedbank teammate, Selam Gebre (19), is in third position, with 84 points, after finishing in the third spot in all three races so far.
This means that Nare can take an unassailable lead after the race in the South African capital city.
Yet, in an interview with CAJ News Africa from her home base in Ethiopia, Nare remained modest.
She rejected the idea that the absence of Johannes had paved the way for her to win the race and the title.
“It is not an advantage. It is good to have a challenge so as to improve,” Nare said.
She added, “I want to be the world greatest. So I have to fight with the best,” she added.
“I will continue to give 100 percent in the remaining races. I won’t let my guard down,” Nare said.
After Tshwane, the series moves to Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Nare won all six races in the Spar Grand Prix last year, in the absence of 2019 champion, Johannes (41), who was out injured.
Not since 2019 has anyone besides Johannes and Nare won South Africa’s prime women athletics event.
– CAJ News