Visa restrictions hamper Ethiopian runner

Spar Grand Prix favourite Nare says travel tires her

Neville Khoza Journalist
Ethiopian, Tadu Nare (Nedbank) wins the 2021 SPAR Grand Prix Joburg 10km race on Sunday, 3 October 2021.
Ethiopian, Tadu Nare (Nedbank) wins the 2021 SPAR Grand Prix Joburg 10km race on Sunday, 3 October 2021.
Image: Reg Caldecott

Ethiopian runner Tadu Nare may have dominated the Spar Grand Prix, winning five races in succession, but she has faced challenges in achieving that.

Nare, who won the Johannesburg leg yesterday in Marks Park, has been granted a five-day visa for each race since.

Yesterday, she left immediately after completing the race and will embark on another four-and-a-half-hour flight from Addis Ababa to Johannesburg on Friday for the final race in Gqeberha on Saturday.

Speaking after winning the race in a time of 33:20, the 20-year-old admitted that the travel was taking its toll.

“I find it very tiring because I have to fly back to Addis Ababa after every race because they will only give me a five-day visa. It would be better for my training if I could stay here,” Nare told the media.

With 125 points in the bag, Nare is the favourite to clinch the R190,000 grand prize in Gqeberha as she just needs a win in the final leg.

She believes she would have run a faster time had it not been for fatigue.

“I’m planning to run fast in the last race, but we will see and it will depend on the weather conditions,” she said.

Nedbank Running Club’s Nick Bester said receiving only a five-day visa had affected his client.

“After each race she has to go back to Ethiopia, so there is a lot of travelling which she has to encounter,” Bester said.

“It’s a South African problem, especially for Ethiopians, because some of them, when they get visas and when they come here they disappear and don’t go back to their country. That’s why the rules are so strict.”

Kesa Molotsane finished second in 34:34, while Irvette van Zyl came third in 34:40.

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