Mphahlele is king of Thembisa again

STOCK IMAGE: Ace runner sets new course record for mile event.
STOCK IMAGE: Ace runner sets new course record for mile event.
Image: Chris van Lennep/123RF

Thembisa Athletics Club runner Ryan Mphahlele is once again champion in his hometown after winning the 2021 SPAR Thembisa Mile on Sunday.

The 1.6km annual race is run in the streets around Makhulong Stadium in Thembisa. Mphahlele took full advantage of the perfect conditions in familiar surroundings – the stadium is 500m from his home in Kopanong Section – to dominate the race before winning it with a new mark of 4min 01sec. 

Mphahlele, 24, started the race as the course record holder after he set the previous mark of 4.02 in 2018. 

In 2019, Mphahlele suffered injuries and was supposed to sit out the race. However, with the event being organised by his club, he entered and finished fourth. Last year the mile did not take place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Today, Tshepo Tshitse of Boxer Club finished second in 4.04, while Modupi Tladi (Vaal) took third in 4.09.

The bubbly Mphahlele said: "I have shaken off my injuries and looking forward to races next year, both on track and road.

"I'm feeling good, and that means better times and more titles are coming soon."

He is also the SA cross-country champion after winning the senior men's (10km) title at the national championships held in Amanzimtoti, KZN, in September. Mphahlele said his next target is the 1,500m track title.

In the women's race, 800m rising star Prudence Sekgodiso (TUT) became champion again. The 2019 winner on Sunday won in 4.52.

Limpopo-born Sekgodiso was just too strong for the field she ended up being the only female finishing in sub-5 minutes.

Lesotho Olympian Tsepang Sello (Kovsies) was second in 5.01 while Janice Janse  van Rensburg (Tuks) fought hard for third place in 5.04.  

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