July 20, 2022  

Defending champion Tadu Nare of Ethiopia has one hand on the SPAR Grand Prix title after winning the Mbombela SPAR Grand Prix Women’s 10km race on Saturday.

She has 89 points, including bonus points for running excellent times in each of the three races so far this year’s SPAR Grand Prix Series.  She was second in the opening race in Gqeberha and won the second race in Durban.

Nare is one point ahead of her Nedbank teammate, Helalia Johannes of Namibia. Johannes, the 2019 SPAR Grand Prix. titleholder won the Cape Town leg but was second to Nare in Durban and Mbombela. Although only one point separates them at this stage, Johannes will miss the Tshwane SPAR Grand Prix race on August 6 because she will be defending her Commonwealth Games marathon title in Birmingham. This means that Nare can take an unassailable lead after the Tshwane race.

Fellow Ethiopian Selam Gebre (Nedbank) is in third position, with 84 points, after finishing in the third spot in all three races so far.

Nare said she was happy to be in pole position, but would be taking nothing for granted.
“I will continue to give 100 per cent in the last three races.  I won’t let my guard down ,” said Nare.
2018 winner Kesa Molotsane (Murray & Roberts) is back in fourth position, with 70 points.  She was eighth in Gqeberha and fifth in both Durban and Mbombela, and earned 10 bonus points in each race.  She has ousted Irvette van Zyl (Nedbank), who missed the race in Mbombela because of injury. Three times SPAR Grand Prix winner Van Zyl has dropped down the leaderboard to eighth position with 51 points, after coming seventh in Gqeberha and fourth in Durban.  

Glenrose Xaba (Boxer), who was the first South African home on Saturday, is in equal 12th place alongside Tayla Kavanagh (Murray & Roberts).  Xaba came third in last year’s SPAR Grand Prix but has run only one SPAR Grand Prix race this year, because she was concentrating on trying to qualify for the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games.  Kavanagh, who was fourth in the opening race in Durban, has also run just one race.
Johannes (41) and Gebre (19) are in the lead in their respective age categories.  

Murray & Roberts is in the lead in the club competition, with 415 points from 23 scorers.  Nedbank is in second place, with 371 points from 11 scorers, followed by Boxer with 277 points from 11 scorers.