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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

'We've improved so much' - Molotsane expects SA runners to shine against East Africans at DURBAN 10k

Despite the fact that the no South African woman has ever run under 32 minutes for 10km on South African soil, Kesa Molotsane remains bullish about the wealth of distance running talent in the country. Only three SA women (Elana Meyer, Colleen de Reuk and Dominique Scott) have ever broken 32 minutes, with Irvette van Zyl's 32:06 in Durban in 2018 being fourth on the all-time list and the closest that a local woman has come to run sub 32 on home soil. Yet Molotsane remains convinced that given the right support Southern African women in general can compete with the best in the world.

"It's not that we are not talented as South Africans, I just think that the infrastructure in our development can do with a bit of funding. For that to happen we need a collective effort. Given the opportunity I think that all these athletes can improve times and improve performances. This is where all these incentives should be invested," she said speaking during an online broadcast ahead of the much anticipated Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10k.

South African athletes in action in the 2021 Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10k which doubled as the ASA 10km Championships. Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg.

Her comments come on the eve of a race which has been hailed for unlocking the doors of opportunity for SA runners in particular through the introduction of a time bonus incentive scheme that will reward fast times. If for example, Molotsane can improve on her 32:51 10km personal best and dip under 32 minutes then she would earn a whopping R100 000. The Murray and Roberts Running Club top runner believes that local athletes are capable, especially when 'local' is expanded to include the SADC region.

"We've improved so much. The improvement has been drastic and I shouldn't just give credit to South Africa alone. I think we should look at Southern Africa in general. We have Neheng (Khatala) from Lesotho, a few ladies from Zimbabwe and someone like Helalia Johannes from Namibia. And all these neighbouring countries have contributed positively to South African improvement in long distance and middle distance running."

And with a host of world class East Africans including world record holder Genzebe Dibaba invited to take part, the woman who won the SPAR Grand Prix 10km title in 2017 believes it is only a matter of time before SA women are running shoulder to shoulder with Ethiopians and Kenyans because of the platform that events like the Absa RUN YOUR CITY SERIES provide for them to race against the best.

Molotsane will be in action again this weekend in the Durban leg of the SPAR GRAND PRIX on Sunday. Photo Credit: Reg Caldecott.

"This is a huge privilege for all South African athletes because you only see all these elite athletes on TV like the Diamond League, World Champs or Olympics. But having to race against an athlete of that calibre is really a great privilege and an honour for us. That's why I should give it to Stillwater Sports that you are doing an amazing job. Dibaba is not just an elite athlete, she is an exceptional elite athlete and to have her here in South Africa gives us a little bit of motivation as SA athletes to try and reach that level," she said.

To catch a glimpse of 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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