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Xaba concedes defeat, aims for top-3 spot

Runner feels Ethiopian Nare has secured Grand Prix already

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Ethiopian runner Tadu Nare.
Ethiopian runner Tadu Nare.
Image: Rogan Ward

Glenrose Xaba, who is the closest SA challenger to Ethiopian runner Tadu Nare in the Spar Women’s Grand Prix 10km, has hinted it will be difficult to topple Nare, and that she’s aiming for top-three place instead.

Nare bagged her third Grand Prix challenge victory in Durban on Saturday, stopping the clock at 32:07. The 20-year-old Nare is top of the standings with 75 points, with three more legs to go.

Having missed the Cape Town segment a week earlier, Xaba had a decent race in the Banana City, claiming the second spot by clocking 32:59. Xaba was also the runner-up to Nare in the opening series in Pietermaritzburg two weeks ago. She’s now garnered 48 points, having missed the Mother City segment due to a knee injury a fortnight ago.

Speaking to Sowetan after the two-lap Durban race near Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday, the 26-year-old Xaba suggested it would be tough to catch up with Nare. 

“You’ll never predict what will happen in the last three races but it looks like Nare has already gone with the title. At this rate, it’ll take a miracle to stop her. My main goal is to be in the top three at the end but I will continue to fight to win at least one leg,” said Xaba, who was the Grand Prix champion three years ago.

The Boxer runner blamed her struggle to keep up with Nare to a niggling knee injury.

“I have been unfortunate with injuries in the last couple of months. My knee has been letting me down...I missed the Cape Town race because of it [the knee injury]. I haven’t been able to train for two weeks, so I can say maybe if I were fully fit I was going to challenge her [Nare] better than I am doing.’’

“Jealous down, Nare is a great runner. I can’t deny that she’s gifted. I think her endurance is her biggest strength.”

The next leg of the Spar women’s challenge is in Tshwane on Heritage Day (September 24).

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