ramaala in dramatic win

Hendrick Ramaala, pictured, out-sprinted Wirimai Juwawo to win Sunday's Nedbank 10km race in Durban in the year's fastest time, but the race ended in controversy and with an ASA apology.

The fast, flat 10km race, held in conjunction with the Nedbank City Marathon and SA Championships, saw the large lead pack set a fast early pace as they ran through the marathoners on their second lap into the city. Zimbabwean Luwis Masunda, Juwawo and Ramaala broke clear on the return to Kings Park. With just over 2km remaining Masunda dropped off the pace, as Ramaala and Juwawo faced a replay of January's Nedbank 21km in Tshwane.

On that occasion the Zimbabwean edged out Ramaala, but after trading the lead, it was the South African who gained a one-second advantage when they hit the track.

Ramaala's time of 28min:45sec is the fastest time in the world this year over the distance, slicing 14 seconds off Frenchman El Moktar ben Hari's benchmark.

Masuda was third in 28:59 with Ethiopian Meharu Baraki the first junior and ninth overall in 29:49, and the top 10 all breaking the 30 minute mark.

Confusion engulfed the field behind the lead pack as runners were misdirected by marshals at the Pine and Field street intersection where the 10km runners were supposed to split from the marathoners.

With runners mistakenly continuing on the marathon route many participants ran between 12km and 17km depending on where they could be re-directed to the finish.

The inconsistency made it necessary to freeze the results from the women's category until further investigation.

Linda Ferns, the general manager of ASA, apologised to athletes at the finish, saying: "This kind of thing should not happen at this level of competition and I would like to apologise to all athletes for all this inconvenience. We are already attending to it." - Sapa