Ethiopian runner wins Orlando 10km

Meshack Khotha

Meshack Khotha

Ethopia's Degene Asefa showed some true grit to win the 10km Orlando Road Race, held yearly, in Soweto yesterday.

Degene, who ran in the colours of Harmony Athletic Club, kept his wits about him to register a time of 29minutes 46 seconds.

Close on his heels was team-mate Nkopane Seqhobane, who reached the finish line a minute later.

"I should have won this race easily . a lapse of concentration at the final moment cost me the title,'' said a disappointed Seqhobane.

Cargo Mokoena of Soweto, who is still to join a club, came third in 30:15.

In the women's section, Lebo Phalula took the honours in 37:55 and was followed by twin sister Lebohang in 39:04. Veteran Thembeka Ketsekile came third in 45.21.

Ketsekile won the veterans' category.

An upset Khensani Mulaudzi, secretary of the race organisers, Orlando Athletic Club, said the race was almost cancelled.

This was after the club was unable to produce the event's documents to the Johannesburg metro police.

"But the timely intervention by Snowy Matthews, president of Central Gauteng Athletics saved the situation, '' said Mulaudzi.

The race started 30 minutes late and some athletes, irritated by the delay, headed home.

"The race was led by a police car from Orlando police station this year,'' said Mulaudzi.

l Sowetan was unable to gain comment from Matthews at the time of going to press.