July 20, 2024

Tadu Nare holds off brave Glenrose Xaba to win Spar Grand Prix in Durban

Durban – Ethiopian star Tadu Nare emerged triumphant on Sunday after being locked in a thrilling battle with South African favourite Glenrose Xaba for most of the race at the second leg of the 10km SPAR Grand Prix Series in Durban.

Competing in ideal conditions, Nare (Nedbank Running Club) and Xaba (Boxer Athletics Club) had some company in the early stages of the 10km contest, but they had shaken off the rest of the field by the halfway mark.

Ethiopian Tadu Nare (Nedbank) leads South Africa’s Glenrose Xaba (Boxer) at the 6km mark of the 10km Durban SPAR Grand Prix. Nare beats Xaba to win the race in 31:14 with Xaba coming in second 31:57 Pfoto: Darren Stewart

Digging deep in the chase for the line, Nare managed to drop a gutsy Xaba with three kilometres remaining, drawing clear to win back-to-back Durban titles in 31:14.

Xaba, who won the opening leg of the SPAR Grand Prix Series in Cape Town in March in the absence of two-time series champion Nare, was rewarded for her brave effort by taking second place in 31:57.

The top 3 finishers in the 2024 SPAR Grand Prix 10km race in Durban from left third placed Neheng Khatala of Lesotho (Hollywood), winner Tadu Nare (Nedbank) and second placed Glenrose Xaba from South Africa (Boxer)  Photo: Darren Stewart

“It’s wonderful to see the South African runners clearly improving. I was actually surprised because she (Xaba) was neck-and-neck with me all the way to seven kilometres and I was starting to get worried,” Nare said.

“I managed to pull away, but it is wonderful to see the growth and development in the way Glenrose is running.”

Xaba, who extended her lead at the top of the SPAR Grand Prix standings with three races to go in the campaign, was delighted with her result.

Despite settling for the runner-up spot behind her fancied Ethiopian opponent, she crossed the finish line just two seconds outside her personal best of 31:55.

“I was glad to be able to keep up with Tadu until seven kilometres. I learn a lot when we race against her because she always pushes us to get better times,” said Xaba.

“We always want to achieve more in life and learning from her helps us improve. I’m very happy with how I ran today.”

Neheng Khatala of Lesotho (Hollywood Athletics Club) was the best of the rest, taking third position in a lightning-fast race in 32:14. Her compatriot, Blandina Makatisi (Maxed Elite), was fourth in 32:33.

Junior athlete Diniya Abaraya (Nedbank) was fifth overall in 32:40, winning the U-19 division.

The three-time Spar Grand Prix champion Irvette van Zyl (36) – who ran the race for the first time as a 14-year-old – clocked a great time of 33:10. With this performance, she showed that she is well on track for her fourth Olympic Marathon which will take place on Sunday, August 11 in Paris.

“I wanted to execute our training plan and see how far I could go today, so I’m very excited. I’m getting faster, so I’m very proud of myself,” said Khatala.

“The ladies pushed the pace, and the course was good. I just got tired around seven kilometres, but it was a good race.”

The top nine women all dipped under 34 minutes in a contest which attracted a world-class line-up.

The top 10 finishers included four South Africans, three Ethiopians and three athletes from Lesotho, highlighting the attraction of SA’s top women’s road running series for elite African runners.

The Durban race boasted an impressive entry of 9653 runners.

Neheng Khatala of Lesotho collapses on the finish line Photo: Darren Stewart / Gallo Imagesafter coming third in the 10km Durban SPAR Grand Prix. Picture credit: Darren Stewart / Gallo Images

Results of the SPAR Grand Prix 10km race in Durban on Sunday, 23 June 2024.

Open:

1 Tadu Nare (Nedbank) 31:14, 2 Glenrose Xaba (Boxer) 31:57, 3 Neheng Khatala (Hollywood) 32:14, 4 Blandina Makatisi (Maxed Elite) 32:33, 5 Diniya Abaraya (Nedbank) 32:40, 6 Irvette van Zyl (Hollywood) 33:10, 7 Ayantu Terefe (Nedbank) 33:12, 8 Cacisile Sosibo (Boxer) 33:32, 9 Karabo Mailula (Tuks) 33:58, 10 Malineo Mahloko (Maxed Elite) 34:35

Juniors: (U-20):

1 Diniya Abaraya (Nedbank) 32:40, 2 Anele Ndawonde (Umzimkhulu) 38:33, 3 Ngubo Inganathi (Umzimkhulu) 40:10

Veterans:(40-49):

1 Lebo Phalula-Mzazi (Boxer) 34:50, 2 Lebogang Phalula-Luthuli (Boxer) 35:21, 3 Fikile Mbuthuma (Phantane) 38:54

Masters: (50-59):

1 Elizabeth Potter (Boxer) 40:21, 2 Anne Stewart (Atlantic) 40:42, 3 Ronel Thomas (Boxer) 40:54

Grandmasters: (60-69):

1 Judy Bird (Boxer) 41:05, 2 Grace de Oliveira (Maxed Elite) 45:06, 3 Karen Brough (Boxer) 45:55

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