Glenrose Xaba, winner of the SPAR Grand Prix in Cape Town

CAPE TOWN OPENS SPAR GRAND PRIX SEASON IN STYLE


Cape Town provided a stellar opening to the SPAR Grand Prix series season, crowning the first South African champion in five years.

Boxer runner and former Grand Prix champion Glenrose Xaba crossed the 10km finish line in 32:17 ahead of Ethiopian runners Diniya Kedir Abaraya and  Getenesh Agafaw.

Xaba dug deep heading to the finish line, producing a late kick to stun her opposition.

“It was a good race and it went according to the plan I had discussed with my coach (Violet Semenya),” Xaba said after the race.

“When Abaraya started sprinting with more than a kilometre left I was surprised and thought she had misjudged the finish, but I did not give up. I’ve been working hard on my finishing speed, which helped in the end, and I was very excited to get the win.”

Abaraya held on to finish second in 32:24 with compatriot Agafaw taking third place in 33:02.

The 18-year-old athlete admitted she struggled in the latter stages of the SPAR Grand Prix race after launching an early kick. While Abaraya felt she gave the victory away, she was satisfied with her result.

“It was a wonderful race. The weather was great and the environment was amazing,” said Abaraya.

“I didn’t time my race properly. I should have won, but I took off too early. It’s a learning curve for me and I know next time I’ll do better, but all in all, I’m very happy with the race and with my time.”

SPAR WOMEN’S CHALLENGE

Women of all ages, young and old, showed up for the 35th edition of the SPAR Grand Prix opening race in Cape Town.

More than 14 000 women took over the streets of Green Point, Mouille Point and Sea Point.

The race took them on a 10 km routes from Vlei Road in Green Point, Granger Bay Boulevard in Mouille Point and then Beach Road in Sea Point, before finishing outside the Green Point Athletics Stadium Pavilion. For the walkers, the race also featured a 5km route from Green Point via Mouille Point.

As the largest road running race for women in South Africa, the SPAR Grand Prix holds five races in five cities across the country.

The race event is aimed at empowering women and providing athletes with a platform where they can compete for substantial prize money.

For every entry received for the race, SPAR will donate a pack of sanitary pads which will be distributed via its Petal Project in partnership with various charities across the country.

As part of the retailer’s End Gender-Based Violence campaign, the race will make a contribution to the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children.

Glenrose Xaba, winner of the SPAR Grand Prix in Cape Town
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