'This is my first big victory in such a major race' - Nicholas Seoposengwe arrives
Although he took second place at the ASA 10km championships in August, Nicholas Seoposengwe announced himself to the South African and global road running public as a forced to be reckoned with when he bested a quality field including the likes of Elroy Gelant and Precious Mashele to win the Absa RUN YOUR CITY JOBURG 10k yesterday. The Boxer Athletic Club top runner completed the tough course which was run on Johannesburg's M1 and M2 highways in 29:42 as reigning SA 10km champion Andries Sesedi taking second in 29:47 and Seoposengwe's Zoo Lake Training Group teammate Kabelo Seboko third in 29:55.
“This is my first big victory in such a major race. It's a phenomenal thing. I enjoyed the race. I knew that I have been training for this so I knew I was fit and I had prepared well,” he told those tuned into an online broadcast after winning the race. "Things went accordingly. I went from the start and waited for the guys to follow and at 8km I just kicked hard.”
The win underlines the quality of the 21-year-old who only began training full-time under Hendrick Ramaala at the Zoo Lake Group at the beginning of 2021. Originally from Taung in the North West Province, Seoposengwe came to Johannesburg by way of an athletics scholarship when he was recruited to joined the famed Murray and Roberts Vorentoe Running Academy on the west of the city which has produced the likes of the Phalula twins and Mapaseka Makhanya.
In joining a training group that included the likes of multiple SA Champion Mashele, the first South African to run under 28 minutes on SA soil Maxime Chaumeton and Olympic Marathoner Desmond Mokgobu to name but a few Seoposengwe developed the confidence he needed to start becoming a repeat offender on 10km podiums around the country. He was third at the Hollywoodbets Durban Summer 10km (28:42) last November, was the runner-up at PMC Family Road race in Phalaborwa in February and then set a 28:37 personal best for 13th place in a deep international field at the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10k in July.
Producing these results came because of the confidence he gained by training with champions. "Training with these guys helps a lot. I just think that if I can hang there in training then why can't I win a race because I'm with them in training. So it makes it easier in a race because I know that it is possible," he said.
The women's race was won by 22-year-old Kenyan Emmaculate Achol (33:50) who did enough to hold off a fast-finishing Glenrose Xaba (34:03), while Ethiopia's Meskerem Tsefaye was third (34:03). "I knew that I would win. I said to myself before the start of the race that I'm putting everything in God's hands. The course very hard. After 7km, I turned around to see that there were no ladies behind me, so that's when I decided to kick," she said after winning her first official 10km race outside Kenya.