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Lebo, Lebogang dominate the Central Gauteng Athletics race

Phalula twins make first CGA race a family affair

Lebo and Lebohang Phalula and Carneil Joubert
Lebo and Lebohang Phalula and Carneil Joubert
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

The Phalula twins Lebo and Lebogang dominated the first half-marathon of the year in Gauteng by achieving first and second places on the podium.

The twins marked the return of the road racing events in the country with impressive performances at the Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA) half-marathon and 10km championships at the Germiston Stadium yesterday.

Phalula, who is married to fellow runner Gladwin Mzazi, stopped the clock at 01:16:32 ahead of her sister Lebogang, who ran 01:19:52, with Cornelia Joubert taking third in 01:22:03 in hot conditions.

For her efforts, Lebo collected R3,000 for winning the race with her sister taking home R1,500 and Joubert settling for R500. It was a clean sweep for the Boxer Running Club stars and they are now setting their sights on the SA Senior Track and Field Championships taking place at the University of Pretoria from Thursday to Saturday.

The CGA races took part at different times to allow the 500 runners to comply with the Covid-19 regulations. Lebo praised CGA for organising a great race during these difficult times of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It was a little bit hot, but I enjoyed the race. The person who designed the route must be a runner. The route was brilliant with few hills and not too hard to run on,” Lebo told Sowetan yesterday.

The women’s half-marathon had 100 runners and they ran in a group for long periods.

The 2016 Olympian said she broke away with 4km to go and decided to go for it. “I started to push in the last 4km. My sister and Cornelia were breathing behind my back and I decided to pull away. I said,  let’s see as I did not want to take any chances. Now I am ready to face them at the SA championships with young runners.”

She said the biggest challenge was the water points, as the marshals were not allowed to give them water due to Covid-19 regulations.

“You pick up water on the table by yourself and at one stage I tripped and fell over. The water points slowed me down,” she added.

Olympic-bound Desmond Mokgobu, who qualified for the men’s marathon in the Tokyo Olympics in Japan, won the men’s half-marathon title. Mokgobu clocked 01:04:38 to finish ahead of Precious Mashele (01:04:39) and Gladwin Mzazi (01:05:35).

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