Cape Town - If ever there was a message of
intent, then this is it. The Nedbank Running Club has entered a 55-strong
Nedbank Green Dream Team for the Old Mutual Soweto Marathon on Sunday,
A total of 19 of these athletes
have been entered for the big race, the marathon
and there is no doubt that in particular the women’s side of the race will be
dominated by the light green colours of the Nedbank Running Club.
Makhanya, Selam Abere Alebachew, Zehara Kedir Datu, Shitaye Gemechu Debellu
will lead the women’s team and will prove to be difficult to beat.
Debellu is the fastest in the
field with a 2:26 marathon time run in 2008 and won the inaugural GJ Zuma
Marathon this year.
She like Selam Abere Alebachew seems to thrive on the
tougher courses and the Old Mutual Soweto Marathon is nothing if not tough,
despite the route now being reversed from the original one.
Alebachew won this
year's Mandela Day Marathon, one of the toughest races around, clocking 2:52.28.
Mapaseka Makhanya has been nursing an injury and will start conservatively, but
she is a class racer and if she is feeling good on the day can be a real
Sufa Chala Damessa, Senbeto
Geneti Guteta and Sintayehu Legese Yinesu are three of the men’s entry who will
have the opposition worried.
All three are from Ethiopia,
with Guteta at 18 having already run a 2:17 marathon in Seville this year.
Damessa was 12th
in the Dubai Marathon in January this year with a 2:12 time and second at the
Mandela Day Marathon (2:28.27).
Sintayehu Legese Yinesu is of course the
defending champion and will be a tough nut to crack in the day.
The South African challenge in
the Nedbank Team will come from Kgosi Tsosane and Africa
Tsosane feels he has a point to prove after struggling with injury
The Old Mutual Soweto Marathon will be only his second marathon after having finished fifth in the
PetroSA Marathon in 2013.
Mailola was the second South African across the line
in the 2014 Cape Town Marathon.