Taking advantage of the absence of in-form series leader Irvette van Zyl, Zimbabwean distance runner Rutendo Nyahora won a relatively slow 10km race on Saturday, at the fourth leg of the Spar Women’s Grand Prix in Centurion.
Nyahora, who trailed home in 92nd place in the Olympic marathon in Rio last month, charged clear in the latter stages at the weekend to secure victory in Centurion for the second year in a row, crossing the line in 35:25.
Another Olympic marathon runner, local athlete Diana-Lebo Phalula who finished 63rd over the classic 42km distance in Rio, took second place in 35:40, and national 10 000m track champion Glenrose Xaba was third, a further 36 second off the pace.
“I am so happy to have defended my title,” Nyahora said.
“I know this route very well, and I knew that they would get tired, so I just waited for my chance, and when it came, I took it.”
Over 27 000 people took part in the popular 10km race and 5km fun run.
While Van Zyl missed the race after picking up a foot injury on the eve of the Olympic marathon, she retained her overall series lead ahead of the fifth and final leg in Joburg next month.
Over 27 000 participants at the #SparGrandPrix 10km race in Centurion today. Race gets more entries than the Comrades Marathon. Good going
— Wesley Botton (@wesbotton) September 3, 2016
Rutendo Nyahora wins Pretoria #sparwomen'10km for the second tine in a row. Diana-Lebo Phalula 2nd and newcomer Glenrose Xaba 3rd.
— Jane Bramley (@janebramley45) September 3, 2016