DIMINUTIVE athlete Poppy Mlambo proved that she is a force to be reckoned with in road running in the country by running two absorbing races in two days - and doing well in both of them.
On Saturday, Mlambo won the Clover 10km race in Port Elizabeth and yesterday she came fourth in the 2009 Spar Women's 10km race in Durban that is part of a series.
"I'm not disappointed that I did not win because I had raced the day before. My time in Port Elizabeth was 34:54 and today (yesterday) I clocked 34:39, so you can see that I did well, even if I must say so myself," she said.
Mlambo said she was looking forward to the Pretoria leg of the Spar series.
"I'm in good shape and hope to do well and actually win the Pretoria leg. Also being part of the World Championships camp is going to help me a lot. Having said that, I congratulate the winner of the Durban leg. The race was okay, and I am not bitter that some one else won," she said.
Rene Kalmer from Gauteng won a fast race in fine weather conditions in a time of 32min:27sec. She made it look easy, running away with R5000 prize money and top spot in the Grand Prix standings.
Kalmer, who has been dominating the circuit for years, was delighted: "I am thrilled that I improved on my time. It was a fantastic race from the start in perfect conditions. I decided to do the business today and went for it."
Hot on her heels was Annerien van Schalkwyk in a time of 32:39. Coming in third was first KwaZulu-Natal runner Tanith Maxwell in a time of 34:01. She leaves next month to go to Berlin to compete in the World Athletics Championships, and in October she is going to the world half marathon championships in Birmingham.