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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

Xaba eyes SA Half Marathon champs after wonderful comeback on the track

South African middle and long-distance star Glenrose Xaba recorded a massive comeback from injury when she successfully defended her 10 000m title during last week's Sizwe Medical Fund Senior Track & Field Championships at Tuks in Pretoria. Xaba bagged two medals during the games including a silver medal in the 5 000m where she was outclassed by her training partner Caster Semenya. The 26-year-old Boxer Athletics Club athlete says this was a wonderful achievement, especially after struggling with a calf injury for two months. She applauded Semenya for being there for her during the tough times.

Xaba in action on the track during an Endurocad Meeting at the Coetzenburg Stadium in Stellenbosch. She once again showed good form on the track at the Sizwe Medical Fund SA Senior Track & Field Championships were she won two medals last week. Photo Credit: Roger Sedres.

"I'm happy that I won after I had a two months setback due to injury," said the Mpumalanga-born athlete. "It wasn't easy to put out a good performance as because my preparation was affected by the injury. I wasn't training the way I would like to because I needed my injury to heal. But to be surrounded by people like Caster (Semenya) helped me to believe that I could get strong enough to put out a good performance. She is one of the people that assisted me big time while I was nursing my injury. Even to train with her is a blessing because she puts in extra effort. And to train with someone with Olympic and World Champion medals is encouraging," she said.

In order to make sure she healed properly, the former SA 10km Cross Country champion treated her injury in January because there were no races happening. "With no races happening due to Covid19, I decided to consult a specialist to see to the problem," explains the 2018 Spar Ladies 10km Grand Prix winner.

"You must remember that at the start of 2019, I wasn't doing well because I was coming from injury. And my left leg calf was sore, so it's the same injury that keeps coming back. Because there were no races happening, it offered me with time to heal without rushing to compete. So you can say Lockdown worked in my favor and assisted me to treat this injury," said the Boxer Athletics Club runner.

Xaba's next focus to do well at the upcoming SA Half Marathon Championships in PE on 1 May. Photo Credit: Terri-Lynn Penney.

For Xaba, the next focus is to defend her SA Half Marathon title in Port Elizabeth on 1 May and isn't ruling out the possibility of being part of the SA Olympic team even though it's not her ultimate goal this year. "I'm not thinking about Olympics games for now," said the diminutive runner. "It's actually not something on my mind much and it they come I would be happy. But my focus is to run SA Half( Marathon) then take it from there. But I would continue to do track to build speed. Plus road races are coming back so I would focus on them but if I can get a international race invite then I would be happy," she concluded.

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