Ethiopia’s Tadu Nare favourite in Spar Grand Prix 10km race in Cape Town
Ethiopian middle and long distance runner Tadu Nare of Nedbank will be the athlete to beat in the Cape Town leg of the Spar Grand Prix 10km race at Greenpoint on Saturday morning.
The 20-year-old laid down the marker two weeks ago in the opening race in Pietermaritzburg where she stormed to victory in a time of 32.22, more than a minute faster than SA’s Glenrose Xaba (Boxer) who finished second in 33.40 minutes.
She remains the favourite in Cape Town because several top runners like defending champions Helalia Johannes of Namibia and Comrades Marathon winner Gerda Steyn are recovering after competing in the Olympic marathon. Another potential threat, Irvette van Zyl, is injured.
Despite the absence of Johannes, Steyn and Van Zyl, the Cape Town field is still highly competitive with the likes of Xaba, Tayla Kavanagh, Kesa Molotsane and Fortunate Chidzivo looking for their first wins in the Grand Prix.
After winning in Pietermaritzburg, Nare said she can’t wait to run on the flatter Cape Town route and she is using the Grand Prix series to improve her speed in preparation for the Barcelona Marathon later in the year.
“I am looking forward to the Cape Town race because I believe the route is going to be flatter than Pietermaritzburg, which had hills,” she said. “I am also using this Grand Prix to train for the Barcelona Marathon. I am using this 10km for speed training. I don’t want to blow everything I have in the tank in the 10km but I will be going all out to win all the Grand Prix races this season.”
Victory for Nare would see her consolidate her lead in the race to the title and set herself on the path to dethrone Johannes, who won the overall title after winning all six races in 2019.
Xaba will be looking to improve her performance after her calf and knee struggled on the hills of Pietermaritzburg, while Molotsane will be looking to improve her times.
Attention will also be on 20-year-old Kavanagh, who was the breakthrough athlete in Pietermaritzburg after she powered through a strong field to finish third, eight seconds behind the vastly experienced Xaba.
The organisers have confirmed that the race will have fewer than 150 elite runners and it will be run on a looped course of two 5km laps in the Greenpoint, Granger Bay and Mouillé Point precinct.
Cape Town's mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, said the city is happy to welcome the athletes to the first road race to take place in the city this year.
“The city’s partnership with this event goes back many years and our support for it speaks to a commitment to enabling women’s sport while also promoting a healthy lifestyle,” he said.
2021 Spar GRAND PRIX CALENDAR
Saturday September 4: Cape Town
Saturday September 11: Durban
Friday September 24: Tshwane
Sunday October 3: Johannesburg
Saturday October 9: Gqeberha