Irvette, Ernst shine in London
Johannesburg - Irvette van Zyl improved her personal best by more than two minutes, finishing 10th in the London Marathon women's race on Sunday.
Van Zyl started well and was less than two minutes behind the women's leaders at the halfway mark, which she passed in one hour, 13 minutes, 47 seconds (1:13:47), well on target to become the fourth South African woman to break the two hours, 30 minutes barrier.
And while Kenyan Priscah Jeptoo stormed to the finish, upping the pace to win the race in 2:20:15, most of the field struggled in the latter stages, with Van Zyl holding on to cross the line in 2:31:26.
In the process, the 25-year-old South African, who set her previous career record of 2:33:41 in London last year, qualified for the World Athletics Championships in Moscow, Russia, in August.
Meanwhile, fellow South African Ernst van Dyk finished third in a sprint finish in the men's wheelchair race in 1:31:30.
Kurt Fearnley of Australia won the eight-man bunch sprint and Marcel Hug of Switzerland was second.
Van Dyk, who turned 40 earlier this month, was second in the Boston Marathon - a race he has won nine times - just six days earlier.
Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia won the elite men's race in 2:06:04, with Kenyan Emmanuel Mutai taking second place in 2:06:34.