no CATCHING UP WITH PhalulaS

IN the absence of Grand Prix leader Rene Kalmer, twin sisters Lebogang and Lebo Phalula dominated the fifth and final leg of the Spar Women's Challenge in Randburg, Johannesburg, yesterday.

IN the absence of Grand Prix leader Rene Kalmer, twin sisters Lebogang and Lebo Phalula dominated the fifth and final leg of the Spar Women's Challenge in Randburg, Johannesburg, yesterday.

With Kalmer, who won the first four legs of the 10km series, on duty at the World Half-marathon Championships in Birmingham, the barefoot Phalula siblings led from start to finish in cool, windy conditions over the undulating course.

And Lebo, who trailed her sister by 17 seconds to grab the runner-up spot in 35:41 admitted that the absence of Kalmer and half-marathon team-mates Poppy Mlambo and Annerien van Schalkwyk had taken some sting out of the race.

"We would have run a good time if they were here," she said, adding that a headache had slowed her in the second half when her sister took control. "My sister was in good shape today, but I will get her in the next race. Next time . she won't catch me again."

Lebogang, who ran a well judged race to win in 35:24, said the wafer-thin siblings had initially battled in the wind but refused to let the conditions worry them.

Irvette van Blerk fell into third place from the gun as Lebo tore ahead with her sister close in tow up a long, steep gradient.

After the race Van Blerk admitted she was never in contention for victory after allowing the siblings to open a gap.

"They started really fast," said Van Blerk, who took bottom spot on the podium in 36:03. "I think if I went with them I would have struggled to finish. - Sapa

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