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Defending champion Tadu Nare (Nedbank) of Ethiopia victorius in the SPAR Grand Prix Women’s 10km race

Nare prevails in 10km thriller in Mbombela

Nare prevails in 10km thriller in Mbombela
 

Defending champion Tadu Nare (Nedbank) of Ethiopia enjoyed a thrilling victory over teammate Helalia Johannes of Namibia in the SPAR Grand Prix Women’s 10km race in Mbombela on Saturday. She finished in 32min 43sec and Johannes in 33:02.

Ethiopian junior runner Selam Gebre was third in 33:12. Glenrose Xaba (Boxer) was the first South African home, in 33:37. Kesa Molotsane (Murray & Roberts) was fifth in 33:44.

A group of 10 runners stuck close together for the first 7km before the top three broke away. At 8km, Nare surged ahead but Johannes came back alongside her. There was a moment of true sportsmanship when Nare missed a waterpoint at about 8.5km on the steep incline known as Heartbreak Hill. Johannes noticed this and passed her rival a sachet of water.

Nare said she had enjoyed the challenging course.

“I am used to running on hills and it made me feel at home,” she said. “I planned my strategy after the race in Durban. I decided to test Helalia at 8km. She caught up with me, but then I pushed again and this time I got away from her,” said Nare.

Johannes said she had been in hospital on a drip a week ago and was just grateful that she had done as well as she had.

“I ran my own race and I am proud of what I achieved.”

Asked about her sporting gesture, Johannes said her rivals were not her enemies but friends. 

“I just wanted to make sure that my fellow runner was all right.”

Xaba missed the first two races of the series because she was trying to qualify for the World Athletics Championships or the Commonwealth Games. However, she narrowly missed qualifying and said she would now concentrate on road running.

The next SPAR Grand Prix race is in Tshwane on 6 August. Johannes will miss the race because she will be defending her marathon title at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham

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