South African Athletics
Makhyana eyeing series win
Mapaseka Makhanya (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Mapaseka Makhanya, winner the Pretoria leg of the Spar Women's Challenge series last Saturday, already has one eye on claiming the series title.
Makhanya won the Pretoria race in a record time of 33:37 minutes to earn 30 Grand Prix points. She now has a total of 97 points - 29 ahead of her nearest rival, former Grand Prix winner Irvette van Zyl, who has 68.
The only way for Van Zyl to overtake Makhanya would for her to win the race, in a record time, and Makhanya to come outside the top 20 in the final race in Johannesburg on October 13.
"I'm really excited about the thought of winning a car," said Makhanya who stood to win a Nissan Micra for the series victory.
"It really is something different and special. I can't wait to collect the keys and drive away in my brand new motor car."
The Kalmer sisters - Rene and Christine - were in joint third position, with 63 points. Last year's winner, Rene Kalmer had been plagued by injury and illness. She was unable to run the Port Elizabeth leg of the series because of an injury she picked up at the Boston Marathon in April.
"It's been a hard year," said Kalmer, who was in much better shape ahead of the final race.
"I'm feeling good again and happy with my running. I'm back in the groove. I want to finish in the top three in the Grand Prix."
Van Zyl, who has also battled with injury since the London Marathon in April, was delighted to be back among the top Grand Prix contenders.
"I've had a knee injury and a numb foot, but the knee is all right now, and I'm getting treatment for the foot," said Van Zyl.
"I was so happy to be able to complete the race on Saturday without stopping. My third place felt like a win, and it was such a bonus that I finished inside Rene's record," she said.