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THE TOP RUNNER

A behind the scenes look at South African athletics

 

'I just tell myself to finish the session and you must pray - ask God to help you' - Precious Molepo

Precious Molepo will be one of the athletes to watch when the athletics programme gets underway at the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Youth Games which kicked off on Friday. South Africa's 120 member strong team began arriving in the Lesotho capital last week where athletics and swimming are expected to feature strongly for Team SA on the medals table. Having reached the final of the 400m at World Athletics U20 Championships in Kenya in August, sixteen year old

'Athletics has so much room to make things happen' - BackTrack Sports announce new athletics awards

As difficult as 2021 has been for the sports industry in general, South African athletes, administrators, coaches and several other key role players worked hard to ensure that athletics in the country reopened after the 2020 calendar was basically wiped clean by Covid19. Although the lack of competition last year resulted in Team SA failing to win an athletics Olympic medal at #Tokyo2021 for the first time in the nation's post-Apartheid history, there were many encouraging pe

'We're hard at work to ensure we have a successful race next year' - new CMA Chair Mqondisi Ngcobo

Newly elected Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) Chairperson Mqondisi Ngcobo says his first order of business is to make sure that the 2022 race happens and to woe more sponsors. Runners celebrated when it was announced that the Ultimate Human Race would be going ahed next year after a two year Covid19-enforced hiatus. Ngcobo says that's the main challenge the new CMA Board will face; ensuring that they put on a safe race while attracting new sponsors. "I have mixed feelings

'They shall run and not be weary' - What keeps Wandisile Nongodlwana going

If ever there was a good example of the power of patience, it has to be Wandisile Nongodlwana. As the owner of six consecutive Comrades Marathon silver medals this strapping athletic specimen is often confused for a professional runner to whom results on the road come easy. But the Systems Manager knows all about the hard work it takes to get the best out of oneself, especially when you are a latecomer to the sport you love. "Growing up, I was never into running. In fact, I d

'It's unprecedented' - 2-day Two Oceans applauded as innovative way to deal with Covid restrictions

Western Province Athletics (WPA) say they fought hard to make sure that the much-loved Two Oceans Marathon returns to the road running calendar. Organisers were forced to cancel the 2020 race less than a month before it was scheduled to take place following the declaration of a the Coronavirus National State of Disaster. Runners were left high and dry as the Two Oceans Marathon (TOM) NPC decided not to refund entries leading to much speculation about the TOM NPC's financial s

CGA Athlete's Indaba works towards creating new girls athletics academy

Central Gauteng Athletics' Athete's Commission Chairperson Zongamele Dyubeni has revealed that plans are afoot to create a girls development programme that will one day grow into a fully fledged academy. Concerned by this lack of elite female performers, Dyubeni and his team hosted an Athlete's Indaba this weekend (Saturday 20 November at the Germiston Stadium) to discuss some of the challenges facing coaches and administrators as they struggle to keep girls in the sport beyo

Prodigal Khumalo confident ahead of CTUT 100km after winning Sani Stagger 21km in new course record

After setting a new course record (2:00:42) at the Sani Stagger 21km Trail run on Saturday, Prodigal Khumalo has set his sights on winning the Cape Town Ultra Trail (CTUT) 100km this weekend. Speaking to #TheTopRunner, Khumalo is confident, saying the race preparations have gone quite well and can't wait to race in the Mother City again. "Since I have done well in Sani Stagger then I'm positive that the preparations are intact heading to Cape Town on weekend," explains the tw

'The big performances are coming next year' - Chaumeton after Africa Universities cross country win

Despite being forced to endure the disappointment of failing to qualify for the Olympic Games and the agony of a controversial fall at the SA Senior Track and Field Championships, Maxime Chaumeton says 2021 has been a good year for him. The University of Johannesburg top runner was crowned University Sport South Africa 5000m champion with his first sub 14 minute clocking (13:59.11 at altitude), he finished fifth at the SA 10km championships in a new personal best (28:30) and

Prize money to double for next year's Hollywoodbets Durban Summer 10k

Organizers of the inaugural Hollywoodbets Durban Summer 10k race held in Durban on Sunday, say the event was an unbridled success. With 1 000 participants plus perfect weather conditions - athletes never disappointed as fast times were produced on race day. Race director Mdu Khumalo has revealed that they achieved beyond expectations despite having just six weeks to prepare for the showdown. "I'm so happy with the way things turned out to be on race day. We never had a proble

'I don't rely on what people say about me but rather focus on what I can do' says winning Mulaudzi

Collen Mulaudzi destroyed a quality elite field as he produced scintillating time of 28:30 to claim the inaugural Hollywoodbets Durban Summer 10k race at the Kings Park Athletics Stadium in Durban on Sunday. The race which attracted 1 000 participants due to the Covid19 protocols had fast times which resulted to the top three runners dipping under 29 minutes. Malaudzi, who was the pre-race favorite has turned Durban into his happy hunting ground after he clocked 28:26 to come

Ulundi Striders 10km ready to go as KZNA backs growth of rural clubs

Its all system go for the inaugural Ulundi Striders 10km race. Taking place tomorrow at the Prince Mangosuthu Stadium in Ulundi, north of KwaZulu-Natal, the event is one of only a few races on the KwaZulu-Natal Athletics (KZNA) calendar hosted in a rural area with the aim of promoting the sport. Moses Gazu, who is the club chairman believes they have done a great job in ensuring that the race goes smoothly. "I think we have done quite well to stage a good race on Sunday. I kn

'I've been training hard and the results are starting to show' - Mulaudzi ahead of Hollywoodbets 10k

Collen Mulaudzi will line up for the inaugural Hollywoodbets Durban Summer 10k race as the favourite to claim the top honours. The race, which starts and finishes at the Kings Park Athletics Stadium is happening on Sunday and carries a big fat cheque of R15 000 for both men's and women's race winners. Mulaudzi who recently came third in a personal best of 28:26 in the Absa DURBAN 10k CITY RUN which incorporated the SA Championships is the second-fastest invited elite athlete

Mathanga to race in Saudi Arabia

Mbuleli Mathanga will get another taste of international racing when he takes part in the Khobar International Half Marathon on the 27th of November in Saudi Arabia. This is the third time he will race abroad race in the space of two months. In October, Mathanga ran a sensational Personal Best of 60:17 when he took the third position at the RomaOstia Half Marathon in Italy. He then did the pacemaking duties at the Venice Marathon a week later. Speaking to #TheTopRunner Mdu Kh

'My husband is a pillar in my career' - Fortunate Chidzivo after taking third in SPAR Grand Prix

To understand the impact that the SPAR Grand Prix Series has had not only on road running but on the lives of the top runners that participate in the annual women's 10km race circuit, look no further than Fortunate Chidzivo. Residing in Durbanville Cape Town, the Zimbabwean half marathon national record holder (1:10:50) has cast traditional gender roles aside, using the money she earns from running to support her family while her husband takes care of the daily household chor

'Sports is life. You can make a life for yourself out of sports' - Neheng who lives 500km from coach

This time last week Khatala Neheng was celebrating a new personal best after clocking 32:18 to finish as the runner-up at the Absa DURBAN 10k CITY RUN. In finishing second to the exciting young Tayla Kavanagh, the runner from Lesotho raised a few eyebrows because her new mark came just over two months after racing the Olympic Marathon in hot and humid conditions in Japan. Speaking to the television cameras after the race, her coach Andrew Booyens admitted to being pleasantly

'I couldn't believe it when I won it' - Willie Mtolo reflects on winning 1992 New York Marathon.

It's been almost thirty years since William Bhekizizwe Mtolo became the first South African to win the New York Marathon. On November 1 1992, Bra Willie came from behind passing Mexico's Andrés Espinosa in Central Park to cross the finish line first in 2:09:29. The victory which came barely three months after Elana Meyer won the country's first post-Apartheid athletics Olympic medal when she took the silver medal in the 10 000m at Barcelona, signalled an end to sporting isola

Mulaudzi the man to beat as fast times are predicted for Hollywoodbets Durban Summer 10k race

Thanks to the good prize money on offer, fast times are being predicted for the inaugural Hollywoodbets Durban Summer 10k race scheduled for the 14th of November at the Kings Park Athletics Stadium in Durban. With a whooping R15 000 for both men's and women's winners up for grabs, it makes the race one of the richest 10k's in South Africa. Moreover, the fast and flat route bolstered by the city's generally cool weather conditions suggests we could be in for some epic racing o

"I'm looking to cross the finish line first" - Mashele to face Kenyans in Absa CAPE TOWN 12K CITYRUN

Organisers of the #ABSARUNYOURCITY series have confirmed that Morris Munene Gachanga will be returning to The Mother City to compete in the Absa CAPE TOWN 12K CITYRUN and have another crack at the record he set there four years ago. The Kenyan who set a world best when he ran a sizzling 33:27 at the same race in 2017 will take on South Africa's Precious Mashele on the fast and furious course through the streets of Cape Town. Not one to shy away from taking on more illustrious

"I am blessed and I thank Him' - says evergreen Johannes Kekana

Less than six months before his fiftieth birthday and Johannes Kekana continues to feature on the podium ahead of senior athletes in local races. The Boxer Athletic Club runner took third position behind winner Sbusiso Nzima (32:23) when he ran a scorching 33:37 at the Solomon Mahlangu Memorial 10km race in Mpumalanga on Saturday morning. In completing the course just over one minute slower than an Olympian fifteen years his junior, the 49-year old underlined his longevity an

Mphahelele sets new course record at SPAR Thembisa Street Mile

Ryan Mphahlele produced a sensational run to destroy a quality field to be crowned the Tembisa Mile Champion once again. Running in an invitational race due to Covid19 restrictions, Mphahlele covered a 1.6km distance run through the streets of the Ekurhuleni township in a time of 4:01 to eclipse his own record set in 2018 by one second. The former 1500m SA champion who is coached by Elvis Khoza is making a comeback this year after battling with injuries during the second of h

 

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