Elite distance runner Dominique Scott-Efurd will make a rare appearance on home soil next month when she lines up at the FNB SurfCityRun 10km race in Durban.
The US-based athlete, who represented South Africa in the 10 000m final on the track at last year’s Rio Olympics, was announced in the women’s field on Tuesday for the inaugural road race.
With organisers laying out a flat course in the coastal city, the elite men and women were expected to chase fast times, and after showing superb form this season, Scott-Efurd was already being tipped to give Elana Meyer’s 16-year-old national 10km record of 31:13 a real shake.
Having clocked a personal best of 32:22 in Boston in June, the 25-year-old athlete flaunted her form by setting a national mile (1.609km) best of 4:19.60 on the road in New York earlier this month.
“I’ve had a really good season with the mile showing just how fit I currently am,” Scott-Efurd said.
“My personal best of 32:22 in the 10km should definitely go.”
Already holding five SA indoor records on the track, over every distance from 800m to 3 000m, Scott-Efurd believed the Durban race would provide an ideal setting for her first attempt at a national mark on the road, with organisers putting up a R300 000 bonus carrot.
“I just need to get into the right race… I know I can go a low 31,” she said.
Her strongest challenge was expected to come from Ugandan teenager Mercyline Chelangat, who finished 13th in the 10 000m final at the recent World Championships in London.
“It is always great to be able to run in international events on African soil,” Chelangat said.
“I know Dominique Scott-Efurd is in great shape, so I know I will need to work hard.”