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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

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.

Mphahelele breasts the tape ahead of Tshepo Tshite to win a second Themisa Street Mile title as race orgnaniser Donald Mathipa looks on. Photo Credit: SPAR Thembisa Street Mile.

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 half of 2019. In September, He won the SA 4KM Cross Country Championship held in Amanzimtoti in Durban. Speaking to #TheTopRunner, Mphahlele expressed his delight in winning the race as he had planned despite encountering hot weather conditions on the day.

"I'm so happy that I have managed to win the race. The weather conditions were too hot on the day but I still managed to do well," explains Thembisa Athletic Club runner. "My plan heading to the race was to win it and I have managed to succeed in doing so. The race was full of good athletes from across the country and it's started so fast. To break the course record is something that still excites me. I'm looking forward to competing next year and winning races," said the 23-year old who defeated two-time SA 800m champion Tshepo Tshite to win in his hometown.

The race which usually finishes at the Moses Molelekwa Community Center was forced to change this year in order to accommodate the elections taking place today, as the centre was going to be used as a voting station. It meant that the Makhulong Stadium across the road became the start and the finish point. Race organizer Donald Mathipa was satisfied with the way the race happened on the day and he hopes it will grow bigger in the next few years.

"Besides the fact that we had to change the route on the last minute, everything went well on the day," he explained. "Our team managed to stay all night to prepare for the event. We still need more coverage plus sponsorship to make the race to be more recognized. It is possible because I'm passionate about running. It's hard to predict the future due to Covid19 but we remain positive," he concluded.

Prudence Sekgodiso (wearing the cap) lead from gun to tape to take the 2021 SPAR Thembisa Street Mile. Photo Credit: SPAR Thembisa Street Mile.

In the women's race reigning national 800m champion Prudence Sekgodiso was a comfortable winner (4:51) over Lesotho Olympian Tshepang Sello and Simonay Weitz of the University of Pretoria.

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