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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

Xaba moves up to third on SA All-Time list after 31:26 in London 10 000m

Although she missed out on automatic qualification, Glenrose Xaba took a step closer to making her Olympic debut thanks to a fabulous performance. The 29-year-old ran 31:26.87 to clinch sixth place at the night of 10 000m PB's in London last night to become the third fastest South African woman over 25 laps of the track. Only the great Elana Meyer (30:52.51) and Dominique Scott (31:00.10) have run faster.

"My training is always based on speed endurance. But this time I did include some more speed work in terms of 400m and 200m reps so that I can have that quick speed in my legs, while I also run 800m and 1500m so that I can achieve that long kick. That way I don't panic when it's 1500m or 800m to go because I noticed that when it's three or two laps to go I lack speed and they beat me. So I tried to adjust to have a good 10 000m and finish very strong," she explained.

If she fails to achieve automatic qualification, Xaba will have to rely on her world rankings and cross country rankings. Here Xaba is seen at the World Cross Country Championships in Serbia in March where she finished in 32nd position. Photo Credit: Athletics South Africa Media.

Finishing 46 seconds outside the automatic qualification standard leaves Xaba with an anxious wait to see if she will be included in the SA Olympic team on the basis of her world ranking. With 27 spots available for the women's 10 000m Olympic race on the 9th of August and 15 of those having been taken up by automatic qualifiers, Xaba's inclusion will depend on how many women can still manage to dip under the automatic qualification standard of 30:40.00 between now and the 30th of June.

The good news is that on the basis of last night's performance, Xaba is the 19th fastest 10 000m women in the world in 2024. But after winning a maiden 5000m national title in April, the Boxer Athletic Club top runner feels that she has the ability to achieve Olympic qualification in both the 5000m and the 10 000m - especially if she can get invited to participate in a fast European race over twelve and a half laps of the track.

"If I can go overseas I think I can do much better because I will be able to go with those fast ladies and there are also light waves to guide you with the pace," she said of her hopes to try and improve on her 15:25.92 5000m best and dip under the 14:52.00 qualification standard. "I want to try and qualify for both of them."

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