Zimbabwe’s top female long-distance runner Sharon Tavengwa, who had been down with a knee injury, returned to competitive running in Netherlands on Sunday where she finished fourth in the women’s 10km race at the 2012 Zwitserloot Dak Run in Groesbeek.
The 29-year-old star shrugged off the three-week injury-induced lay-off to finish the race in a time of 34mins. She was just under three minutes behind the eventual winner, Helah Kiprop from Kenya who completed the race in 31,44mins.
Another Kenyan runner Emily Samoei was in second place in a time of 33,19mins while Veerle Dejaeghere from Belgium was in third place in 33,56mins.
Tavengwa, who alternates between her training bases in Kenya and Netherlands, was using the race to prepare for the London Olympic Games. The London 2012 Olympic Games are scheduled to run from July 27 to August 12.
Tavengwa’s coach Molise Pasquale Venditti, a Dutch national, said he was happy Tavengwa had returned to competitive running, but was worried that her knee problem could affect her preparations for the Olympics.
“We are doing everything possible to solve this problem with her knee in this crucial period of preparation for the Olympics. It has not allowed Sharon to train in the best ways possible but it’s nice that she is back running again,” Venditti told a Netherlands-based publication, Termolionline.
Tavengwa qualified for the Olympic Games with an A standard after posting an impressive time of two hours 35mins on her way to winning the Utrecht Marathon in the Netherlands. The IAAF has set the A standard qualification time for the women’s marathon at two hours 37mins.