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  • Thathe Msimango

ASA Road Commission backs postponement of Durban SPAR 10km as athletes test positive for Covid19

The Durban leg of the Spar Grand Prix Women's 10k race has been postponed due to the high number of Covid19 cases, especially in Gauteng. Although the race which was scheduled to take place on Sunday with a limited field 150 athletes, organisers have prioritised safety believing it would have been risky to go ahead when most runners are based in Gauteng.


Gauteng-based athletes of Irvette van Zyl, The Phalula twins and Rutendo Nyahora leading the charge in the Durban Leg of the SPAR Grand Prix Women's 10km race. Photo Credit: SPAR/Rogan Ward.

It emerged that earlier this week that some competitors that were due to participate in the race tested positive for Covid19, forcing Spar and Athletics South Africa (ASA) to hold a meeting on Thursday to decide on the matter. Speaking to the #TheTopRunner, ASA Road Running Chairperson Enoch Skosana admitted the current Covid19 situation was the deciding factor for postponement. He also confirmed that two Gauteng-based athletes had indeed tested positive for the deadly virus even though he couldn't disclose their names.


"The country is in the grip of the 3rd wave and things are really bad in Gauteng as numbers are high," said Skosana. "As most of the athletes are based here it's better not to risk their lives. Let's assess the situation first before we carry on with our lives. Two athletes indeed tested positive for Covid19 but I can't disclose their names as it's an internal matter. But it's not one of the reasons we decided to postpone the race," he said.

Athletics South Africa's board through Road Running Commission Chairperson Enock Skosana (second from right) agree with the decision to postpone the race. Photo Credit: Colleen McNally.

It's still unclear when the Durban SPAR Grand Prix Women's 10km race will take place but it could be in September. The Spar Grand Prix overall winner is expected to get a whopping R190 000.


2021 SPAR GRAND PRIX CALENDAR

Saturday, 7 August – Tshwane

Sunday, 22 August – Pietermaritzburg

Saturday, 4 September – Cape Town

Sunday, 3 October – Johannesburg

Saturday, 9 October - Gqeberha

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