Mlambo builds on top win

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Top athlete Poppy Mlambo plans to use the R100 000 she won at the Nedbank South African Marathon towards the building of a house in Soweto.

"There is no better investment than a house," said a delighted Mlambo, who surprised all and sundry by winning the marathon in Port Elizabeth on debut.

"February 10 2007 will go down as one of the happiest days in my life after the historic win in Port Elizabeth, not only in athletics.

"Though many people did not give me a chance, the reception I got when I returned to Soweto late on Saturday was awesome.

"It was a tough race but for me the plan was to be in the top five finishers because of a lack of experience in marathons. But I felt comfortable when we reached the halfway mark. I started smelling the big win when we approached the 38km mark."

The popular Mlambo, known as the "Princess of Emndeni" in athletics circles, is going back to track events.

"I think I'm done with the marathons for this year, but I won't have a problem if I'm included in the team to the World Championships in Japan.

"I would love to go to the Olympics before I can even think of retiring from athletics. I honestly believe that I stand a pretty good chance in the marathon."

After recovering from the after- effects of the PE marathon, Mlambo will tackle the 5 000m in the Yellow Pages Ultimate Track and Field meet in Stellenbosch on March 2. It will form part of her final preparations for the South African Track and Field Championships in Durban on March 16.

"The plan is to register for both the 5000m and 10000m at the championships," said Mlambo.

Snowy Matthews, Central Gauteng Athletics president, praised Mlambo for the win.