by DION HENRICK in Cape Town
Western Cape Bureau
CAPE TOWN, (CAJ News) – HIYAME Lena’s victory at the 30th Cape Town Spar Women’s 10km Challenge entrenches foreign athletes’ dominance in South Africa’s premier women’s race.
The Ethiopian won in 33minutes and 42 seconds on a wet and chilly morning in Greenpoint, Cape Town.
She pipped fellow Ethiopian and perennial runnerup, Selam Gebre, by two seconds in a dramatic sprint for the finish.
Former Spar Grand Prix winner, Glenrose Xaba, was third and the first South African home in 34:05. Xaba led for the first eight kilometres, until the Ethiopian pair surged past her.
Kesa Molotsane was fourth in 34:07, followed closely by Cacisile Sosibo in 34:09.
Xaba said her legs were tired after running a fast 5000m at the middle-distance track meeting at the Greenpoint Stadium last Monday.
“I was feeling very good for the first 8kms, but when the Ethiopians came past, my legs just wouldn’t respond,” Xaba said.
She however banks R10 000 after the sponsors pledged that amount to the first South African to cross the finish line.
The second, in this case Molotsane, receives R5 000.
Molotsane is also a former Spar Grand Prix winner.
“I have long advocated for incentives for local runners – now that they are in place, it’s time for South African runners to respond by closing the gap,” she said.
“South African runners need more support from their clubs and sponsors. It is our livelihood, and we need that support,” Molotsane added.
South African middle-distance legend, Elana Meyer, started the race.
She won the first Spar Women’s 10km Challenge, in Cape Town, in 1993.
“It was an awesome experience to see thousands of women from all over the Western Cape turn out for the race, despite the wet weather,” Meyer said.
Defending Spar Grand Prix Champion, Tadu Nare of Ethiopia, missed the Cape Town race due to her competing in the London Marathon, where she finished eighth.
Nare confirmed she would be participating at the second Grand Prix in Gqeberha on May 27.
– CAJ News