Former West Rander in titanic struggle for R173k prize

Irvette van Zyl crosses the line during the Spar Women’s Challenge at SuperSport Park on 5 August in Pretoria. Photo: Reg Caldecott

Kesa Moletsane and current title-holder, Irvette van Zyl – former learner at Hoërskool Florida – are locked in a titanic struggle to win the 2017 Spar Grand Prix and the generous R173 000 prize.

With four races completed, and two to go, Kesa has 107 points, giving her a 19-point lead over Irvette, who has 88 points. Irvette won the Pretoria race on Saturday in 34,36 minutes, while Kesa finished third, behind Nolene Conrad. All three earned 10 bonus points for finishing within the target time set by the race organisers.

Kesa Molotsane in action during the Spar Women’s Challenge at SuperSport Park on 5 August in Pretoria. Photo: Reg Caldecott

Kesa won the Port Elizabeth race and finished second in Durban. She has also been declared the winner of the Cape Town race, after the winner, Louisa Leballo, was removed from the Grand Prix standings because she failed an out-of-competition dope test on March 20. Louisa has been banned for eight years, and her Spar Challenge results were nullified because she failed the test before the start of this year’s Challenge series.

Irvette was elevated to second place in Cape Town, and finished second in Port Elizabeth. However, she had to drop out of the Durban race because of an injury. Nolene was sixth in Cape Town, fourth in Port Elizabeth and eighth in Durban, proving that runners can do well in the Grand Prix if their results are consistent.

“Louisa being banned doesn’t really affect the Grand Prix,” said Irvette.

“It just means that Kesa and I get an extra point each. I haven’t given up on winning the Grand Prix this year. I won it last year, despite not being able to run the Pretoria race because I was injured,” said Irvette.

The three-times Grand Prix winner said she had set her sights on doing well in the two remaining Challenge races, in Pietermaritzburg on August 20 and in Johannesburg on 8 October.

“And I am also training for the Cape Town Marathon on September 17,” said Irvette.

Kesa, who is running in the Spar Challenge Series for the first time this year, said she was determined to stay ahead of the pack in the race for the Grand Prix title.

“I am enjoying running on the road instead of the track, and I would like to cap my year with the Grand Prix title,” she said.

In the club competition, Kesa and Nolene’s club, KPMG, has stretched its lead over Irvette’s club, Nedbank, from eight points to 91. KPMG have 441 points, and Nedbank 350. Boxer are in third position, with 314 points.

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  AUTHOR
Clinton Botha
Editor

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