AGN 21km champ Glenrose Xaba targets maiden Commonwealth Games appearance in 2022
Glenrose Xaba's main goal for 2022 is to be injury free. The reigning South African half marathon champion is looking good for the year ahead after opening her season by winning the Athletics Gauteng North (AGN) 21km title. The 27-year old out-kicked Olympian Irvette van Zyl to win the NEDBANK RUNNING CLUB SKOSANA Road Race in Centurion on Saturday in a time of 1:13:43, just 7 seconds ahead of van Zyl.
"I'm very happy to be AGN champion because it wasn't my plan. But we decided with my coach (Caster Semenya) to go and test my fitness. The race was very challenging and the pace was very good because Irvette was there. I felt good and relaxed throughout the race and actually wasn't expecting to run as fast as 73 minutes. It means that my body is returning to the fitness level that I enjoyed in 2018," said the woman who struggled with injury in the early part of 2021.
Although she won the won the national 10 000m title last year, Xaba missed out on Olympic qualification in the 5000m which means she has unfinished business on the track which is precisely where she is targeting improvement this time around. Remaining injury-free is key to that. And while an injury-free season may seem slightly unambitious to some, Xaba believes that this is the key to regaining the sort of form that saw her crowned SPAR Grand Prix champion just over three years ago.
"I'm looking forward to having a good season," she told #TheTopRunner. "Because sometimes when I plan, I get injuries along the way and that is sometimes when I'm in my best shape. I hope 2022 will be a good year for me because we're working so hard to prevent injuries by doing more strength-training. I'm looking forward to perform better and improve my times when it comes to track and field because I want to try and qualify for the Commonwealth Games and maybe the World Championships as well, but definitely the Commonwealth Games where I want to represent my country," explained the Boxer Athletics Club top runner.