Top Zimbabwean female middle and long distance runner Rutendo Nyahora did the nation proud after finishing second in the lucrative Spar Women’s 10km Challenge held at the Green Point Stadium in Cape Town on Sunday.
Nyahora crossed the finishing line in 32 min 54 sec, behind defending champion, South African, Rene Kalmer who finished in 32:50, five seconds ahead of Nyahora. Another South African runner Irvette van Blerk was third in 33.32.
Nyahora said she was pleased with her effort, but was determined to beat Kalmer next time.
“I have been training hard for this race, which is why I ran at a faster time than I finished last year. I liked the route, which was quite flat, although it was a bit windy at times. I was pleased to be so close to Rene, and I am going to try to beat her in Port Elizabeth,” she said.
The 23-year-old Nyahora pocketed R30 000 for her efforts. Nyahora appears to have hit top form at the right time as she is still battling to meet the qualifying time for the London Olympic Games.
Last weekend, she finished third in the Two Oceans Marathon, following up from her season-opening record-breaking win in the BestMed Tuks Marathon in February in Pretoria.
She ran a record-breaking time of 34 min 34 sec beating her 2011 finish by a minute. After the race Kalmer admitted that Nyahora had pushed her all the way.
“Rutendo pushed me hard,” Kalmer said. “That was good, because I wanted to get the speed. I was feeling good and I had a good run, although about seven kilometres was on cobblestones, and that was very uncomfortable underfoot.”
Kalmer has already qualified for the Olympics courtesy of her 2:29:59, run in Japan late last year.
She’ll act as pacemaker at next week’s London Marathon where she’ll be joined by training partner Van Blerk who is hoping to run inside the 2hr 37min “A” standard qualifying mark.