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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

'I'll never give up!' - Xaba fails to qualify for World Champs but celebrates new 5 000m

Although she failed in her bid to qualify for the World Championships, Glenrose Xaba remains upbeat about her season. The Boxer Athletics Club top runner won the Athletics Gauteng North 21km title, then took the SA Half Marathon title, while winning a fifth national 10 000m title and representing South Africa over 25 laps of the track at the recent 22nd annual CAA Championships in Mauritius. And to add to those accolades, the 27-year-old is now the owner of a new 5 000m personal best as well.

"I don't have words," she told #TheTopRunner when asked how she feels about the new 15:25.92 5 000m PB which she ran in Belgium on Wednesday night. "It's difficult to describe what I am feeling but all I can say is that I'm very happy and proud of myself. My happiness comes from my training group, my coach Caster and my mentor Violet, because of the hard work they put into my performance all the time. I'm enjoying running now more than ever before."

Xaba running hard on track. Photo Credit: Tladi Khuele.

That she is loving sport more than she ever has is testament to how far the Boxer Athletics Club top runner has come. An injury-beset 2021 saw her change coaches, leaving the legendary Michael 'Sponge' Seme to join mentor and training partner Caster Semenya, whose partner Violet has also taken a keen interest in Xaba's development. The results while intially elusive have started to show. And even though she failed to run the 15:10.00 necessary to book her ticket to Eugene Oregon, the woman from Mpumalanga prefers to see the glass as half full.

"I was really disappointed but I told myself that everything has it's time. Yes, I didn't manage to qualify but I told myself that is not the end of the world, I can fail now but I will keep working hard to improve my times and I will never give up until I get that qualifying time because even next year we still have world championships," she explained.

But armed with a new personal best from the track and sporting the confidence that she will have got from finishing seventh overall in 1:10:41 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Half Marathon the diminutive Xaba now has the perfect combination of strength and speed that will allow her to improve upon her current 10km lifetime best of 32:45. The Puma sponsored athlete has an eye on the time bonus incentives that will be on offer during next week's Absa Run YOUR CITY DURBAN 10k which will feature some of the finest athletes such world record holder Genzebe Dibaba.

Xaba in action in the SPAR Grand Prix which she won in 2018. Xaba is looking to recreate that mercurial form when she races the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10k on 10 July. Photo Credit: Carl Fourie.

"My preparations are going well so far. I am looking forward to doing better than Absa RYC Cape Town 10km (tenth in 33:12) because my body is responding well in training. I want to do great! I will be looking to run a fast time, like achieve another PB. That is my goal for the race and I enjoy running with those East Africa athletes," she smiled.

To catch a glimpse of Xaba and the holder of 4 world records from close quarters, enter the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10k by clicking HERE. You also stand the chance to win a car! All runners (and walkers) that enter the 2022 Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K will stand a chance to win a stunning Chery Tiggo 4 Pro Urban vehicle on event day, Sunday 10 July 2022.

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