Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
9 Oct 2016
12:12 pm

Van Zyl wins Women’s Grand Prix series

Wesley Botton

Irvette van Zyl made a spectacular comeback from injury on Sunday to dominate the fifth and final leg of the Spar Women's Grand Prix series at the Wanderers.

FILE PICTURE: Irvette van Zyl during the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon media conference at the Cullinan Hotel on March 29, 2013 in Cape Town, South Africa.Photo by Peter Heeger / Gallo Images

After missing out on the Rio Olympic marathon in August and the fourth leg of the women’s 10km campaign in Centurion last month due to a foot injury, Van Zyl returned in style to lift the series crown for the third time in her career.

She took control of the race in the early stages and burst clear of a small lead group on an incline before the halfway mark to win comfortably in 34:58.

“The goal was to win the Grand Prix, and to run under 35 minutes, so I’m very happy with my race today,” Van Zyl said.

Mapaseka Makhanya, regaining her best form after struggling with injury problems of her own, charged through the field in the second half to take second place in 35:46 as part of her preparation for the Shanghai Marathon later this month.

Rutendo Nyahora of Zimbabwe, who had led the chase for most of the race, held on for third position in 36:28, while defending series champion Lebogang Phalula, who put up a fight in the early stages in an attempt to snatch the overall crown, faded to sixth place.