Van Zyl to miss two more Spar races due to injury

Seasoned runner nursing back pain

Irvette van Zyl is missing out of the Spar 10km challenge due to injuries.
Irvette van Zyl is missing out of the Spar 10km challenge due to injuries.
Image: Werner Hills

SA long-distance sensation Irvette van Zyl has given up on her hopes of winning this year's Spar Grand Prix 10km Series.

The two-time Grand Prix winner missed the opening race in Pietermaritzburg two weeks ago because of a back injury. The 34-year-old runner also failed to complete the Olympic Marathon in Japan last month because of the same injury.

“I tried to run this morning [yesterday] and my back still hurts. I will miss the Cape Town race. It is impossible to catch up [with] the leaders if you missed two races. I am out for six weeks. I will miss at least three races. There are no bonus points this year and it is hard to catch up," Van Zyl told Sowetan yesterday.

Van Zyl said there's a possibility of her being available for the fourth leg of the six-race series in Tshwane on September 24.

“I will run in Tshwane, but I do not think I will win the race. I have given up on this one [Cape Town leg]. I cannot do anything with this pain. It is what it is and I am disappointed."

The seasoned runner tipped Glenrose Xaba as her favourite to win the series. 

“It is between Tadu [Nare] and Glenrose. For me, I think Glenrose will take it. She is a bit more experienced than Tadu as a past winner of the race," added Van Zyl.

Ethiopian Nare of the Nedbank Running Club won the opening race in Maritzburg ahead of the Boxer Running Club star Xaba.

Meanwhile, last year's champion Helalia Johannes of Namibia and reigning Comrades Marathon champion Gerda Steyn also ruled themselves out of the next race due to injuries. The path is cleared for Nare and Xaba to push for the series win. 

The second race of the series takes place at the Green Point Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday at 7am.

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