South African Athletics

Barefoot runner in command

2014-05-07 13:30
Diana-Lebo Phalula (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Barefoot runner Diana-Lebo Phalula's record-breaking victory at the Spar Women's 10km Challenge in Port Elizabeth last Saturday has given her a satisfying headstart in this year's Grand Prix series.

The Maxed Elite runner, who became the fourth-fastest South African runner when she crossed the finishing line in 32.27 minutes, also won the Cape Town leg in record time. With bonus points for beating the previous year's time in both races, she now has 60 points on the leaderboard - 26 ahead of her nearest rival, Mapaseka Makhanya.

With Phalula holding a comfortable lead, the tussle is likely to be for second place, with several athletes closely bunched together.

Boxer's Makhanya, who was last year's Grand Prix winner, finished fifth in Cape Town and third in Port Elizabeth and has a total of 34 points. She is just two points ahead of three-time Grand Prix winner, Rene Kalmer of Modern Athlete. Kalmer finished eighth in Cape Town and second in Port Elizabeth.

Two points behind her, on 30 points, is Nolene Conrad (Boxer), who finished third in Cape Town and ninth in Port Elizabeth.

Kalmer's sister Christine is in fifth position, with 24 points, and Phalula's sister Lebogang is five points behind her, in sixth place.

The Grand Prix rewards the top runners competing in the five Challenge races, which are held around South Africa.

The winner will receive a car, and the runner-up R30 000.

Only South Africans are eligible for Grand Prix points, so foreign runners Hunduma Gemeda and Chelity Asefe of Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe's Rutendo Nyahora are not eligible for Grand Prix points.

While Phalula has said she is determined to run all five challenge races so she can drive away in a new car, her immediate focus will be on qualifying for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July in the 5000m and 800m events.

Makhanya, who won the Gauteng Marathon last September, which was her debut marathon, will also be turning her attention to road races in Europe, while Rene Kalmer is heading for the US for some road races there.

The next leg of the Grand Prix takes place in Durban on August 24.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

Big month in the world of golf as the FedEx Cup concludes on the PGA Tour, the Race to Dubai gathers steam on the European Tour and the Sunshine Tour offers local golfers the chance to bank some cash. Oh, and not forgetting the USA v Europe Ryder Cup showdown at Hazeltine!

Latest blogs
Vote

How much of a runner are you?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.