Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
3 Apr 2014
11:00 am

Mzazi wants to prove his worth

Wesley Botton

Gladwin Mzazi is eager to prove his worth when he toes the line at the Prague half-marathon in the Czech Republic on Sunday.

FILE PICTURE: Gladwin Mzazi. Picture: Backpagepix.

Mzazi, one of the most accomplished South African road runners in recent years, finished seventh at the Delhi half-marathon in December in 1:01:12.

Having taken fourth place, however, at last year’s national championships, he was omitted from the national team for the World Championships in Copenhagen last week.

With the SA team finishing a respectable fourth overall in the Danish capital, Mzazi said yesterday he was hoping to match the fine performance produced by his countrymen.

“My aim is to run under 61 minutes,” said Mzazi, who was 18th at the 2012 global 21km spectacle.

“This is a big race for me and I want to run a fast time.”

Before leaving for the Czech capital last night, Mzazi said he hoped to become the eighth South African to break the 61-minute barrier, and if the pace was fast enough, he believed there was a slim chance of going even faster.

Hendrick Ramaala is the only SA athlete to have dipped under the one-hour mark over 21km, and while he was not targeting such a quick performance, Mzazi admitted there was a slight possibility.

Two years ago, Ethiopian Atsede Tsegay clocked the fifth fastest half-marathon time in history in Prague, and last season the race was won by Eritrean world record holder and five-time global champion Zersenay Tadese.

“Breaking 60 minutes might be too much to ask from me,” Mzazi conceded.

“But it’s a strong field, with a few guys who have run 58 minutes and a lot of guys who have run 59.

“The training has gone well, and if the body responds, 59 minutes would be a bonus.”