ATHLETICS NEWS - The top elite runners will all line up for the fifth race in this year’s SPAR Grand Prix series – the Maritzburg SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge in the Kwa-Zulu Natal capital on Sunday.
With only two races to go, log leader, Namibian sensation Helalia Johannes (Nedbank) has the SPAR Grand Prix virtually sewn up. She won the first four races, all in record time, and has accumulated 120 points – 15 more than her nearest rival, Tadu Nare of Ethiopia (Nedbank).
Grand Prix coordinator Ian Laxton believes Johannes will try to wrap up her Grand Prix victory this weekend.
“I believe she will go very fast this weekend and try to wrap things up,” said Laxton.
“She has earned bonus points in all four races so far, so she has a substantial lead. She is running the Marathon at the World Championships in Qatar in September, and if she has enough of a lead, she can miss the Joburg race on October 6,” said Laxton.
“It will be all about her and her tactics.”
Johannes said after winning the Tshwane race on August 3 that while she was committed to running in Maritzburg, it was too soon to say whether she would run in Joburg. She said her focus was now on the marathon at the world championships.
Triple SPAR Grand Prix winner, Irvette van Zyl, who missed the Tshwane race because of surgery to repair an ongoing nerve problem in her left leg, has confirmed that she will run on Sunday.
“Don’t expect any fireworks from me. I am just going to try to get some Grand Prix points,” said Van Zyl.