Finalists for the challenge | News24

Kesa MolotsanePhoto credit: provided

The Free State’s top middle-distance runner, Kesa Molotsane, is in a rush to catch up to her main challengers poised to take the crown in this year’s Spar Grand Prix 10k series.

After two events, she is fifth, while fellow South African Irvette van Zyl is fourth.

They are the only hope for South Africa, which has yet to reach the podium in this difficult race dominated by foreign riders.

Namibia’s Helalia Johannes leads with 30 points and Ethiopia’s Tadu Nare is second with 29 points, having won the first leg of the series in Gqeberha on May 28, as well as June 26 in Durban.

In third place is another Ethiopian, Selam Gebre, with 28 points.

A foreign athlete is therefore obliged to win this year’s series.

It had indeed been a while since a South African won the competition, having been left behind in the last two rounds.

Molotsane and Van Zyl are forced to step up a gear and strive for a final best time of 31:30 in the next three events.

Their mission continues with the third stage of the Grand Prix on July 16 in Mbombela.

Nare leads with the best time of 31:49:00, Johannes’ time is 31:59:00 and Gebre is third with a time of 32:17:00.

Nare is the defending champion, having won last year’s series after recording a total of six victories in the prestigious women’s race.

Molotsane had to settle for second place in the competition and finished last year as South Africa’s top-ranked athlete. After winning the Grand Prix on his debut in 2017, the Thaba Nchu athlete is also being challenged to match the record of fellow South African Van Zyl, who has won the championship three times.

The next three races will take place on August 6 in Tshwane, October 2 in Johannesburg and October 23 in Cape Town.

Molotsane and Van Zyl are forced to step up a gear and strive to achieve

better finishing time

from 31:30 p.m. in the

three upcoming events.

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