'This victory matters most to me' - Mashele wins Boxer Super Run 5k in fastest time on SA soil
Multiple SA champion Precious Mashele outclassed his competitors on the way to clocking a fast 13:44 to clinch the inaugural Boxer Super Run 5k title in Durban this morning. It was the fastest time ever run in a 5km road race in South Africa as the in-form Kabelo Mulaudzi took the second spot (13:53) and former national 1 500m champion Nkosinathi Sibiya claimed third (13:54).
Despite having a good season that saw him set a national 10km record of 27:35 when he finished as the runner-up at the inaugural during Absa RUN YOUR CITY GQEBERHA 10K in April, Mashele hadn't won a road race this year. The 33-year-old Boxer Athletics Club top runner believes this victory has come just when he needed it most.
"It was a great win and a good race. At the start, the KZN (KwaZulu-Natal) runners pushed me hard and there was too much wind. Then after 1.5km, I started to push hard alone till I made to the finish line, " said Mashele, who recently represented SA in the World Road Running Championship in Riga, Latvia where the country's men's 21km team returned with a bronze medal.
"Its my first win of the year. So It means a lot to me. At times, I thought I'm finished. When I went to the World Half Marathon Champs (in Riga), I planned to run under 60 minutes but my body didn't respond in the end. That concerned me. Then last night, Ryan Swanepoel, the manager from Boxer said I'm going to win today and it actually happened. So this victory matters a lot to me," he revealed.
In the women's race, Glenrose Xaba crossed the finish line first in a time of 16:04 to earn a winner's a cheque of R20 000 with Cacisile Sosibo (16:11) following behind her and surprise package Regina Ndungu (16:28) taking the last place in the podium ahead of national 5000m champion Kyla Jacobs. The 28-year-old Xaba who also was part of South African Half Marathon team at the recent World Road Running Championships in Riga, where she obtained twelfth position in 1:09:47, couldn't hide her delight.
"It feels great to win. This time, I was feeling well. During World Champs I was having chest pains which didn't allow me to perform well. Here in Durban, the course was great and the weather was good too. I think we need more races like this to assist in developing more athletes," she said.