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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

'I missed all the familiar faces' - Carmie Prinsloo back in SA and ready for Absa JOBURG 10K

With some of the big names like Glenrose Xaba, Cacisile Sosibo and Cian Oldknow missing the race because of international duty at the World Half Marathon Championships, the 2023 Absa RUN YOUR CITY JOBURG 10K will be an opportunity for some of the country's up and coming stars to make a name for themselves. One of those promising young stars is 21-year-old Carmie Prinsloo who is back in South Africa after a stint in the United States.

Prinsloo celebrates 9th position at the SPAR Women's Challenge 10km race in August. Photo Credit: MWMedia.

"It's so nice to be back and running in South Africa again," she told #TheTopRunner. "I missed it so much, especially having my family and coach supporting from the sidelines. They motivate me and give me that extra push when I need it. I also missed all the familiar faces and chatting to people at events. I think that was the hardest part of being in the US because that's what makes athletics and cross country in particular so enjoyable - seeing everyone and having fun. I missed that a lot in America because I didn't know anyone there," said the Arkansas Razorbacks in 2021.

Returning to her native Pretoria earlier this year, where she could continue working with coach Wessel du Toit who coached her during her days at Höerskool Montana, Prinsloo has started to rediscover the form that made her such a promising junior. At the beginning of August the Boxer Athletic Club placed ninth at the Tshwane leg of the SPAR Grand Prix in 35:59 before going on to earn the silver medal in the senior women's 10km race at the ASA Cross Country Championships in Gqeberha last weekend.

Prinsloo is honoured at the 2019 Athletics Gauteng North (AGN) Awards. here she is pictured with AGN Deputy President James Matshekga after winning AGN Cross Country of the year, being nominated for the AGN Female Athlete of the year where she finished as the runner-up and was acknowledged for earning National Colours for Cross Country. Photo Credit: AGN Media.

"I'm satisfied and grateful for my silver medal at SA's. If I think back to earlier in the year, I was unsure if I should do the 10km race or the 4km race. I realised that the 10km is much more competitive and I wasn't sure about my fitness. Eventually I decided to give the 10km a try in order to test myself against the rest and see if I could maybe qualify for the World Cross Country Championships next year. So I'm very happy and that silver medal also motivates me to work harder to get that gold soon," she smiled.

That performance for an athlete who is still relatively new to the 10km has made Prinsloo one of the favourites for a top ten finish at the Absa RUN YOUR CITY JOBURG 10K on Sunday. That's because despite her relative lack of experience over a distance where her 34:31 personal best was set back in 2019 while she was still a junior, Prinsloo knows how to win. For example in 2021 she ran 9:13.51 to win the 3000m at the Invitational Middle Distance Track Series at Coetzenburg Stadium in Stellenbosch where she defeated a number of quality senior athletes. And having already represented South Africa at the Youth Olympics and the World Cross Country Championships this youngster is now ready to make an impact over 10km at the senior level.

Prinsloo during her junior days. Here she is pictured leading a track race during the Puma School of Speed. Photo Credit: Puma School of Speed.

"I decided to run more 10km races because my club Boxer Athletic Club has given me the opportunity to take part in good competitions against some of the best athletes in South Africa over that distance. I also believe that 10km that training for 10km requires a good aerobic base for the entire season. If I had stayed in SA, I probably would have run more 10km races but I didn't get the opportunity in America. So I'm enjoying it now and it will give me a good foundation for the future," she said.

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