Durban hosted the fastest 10km race ever run on African soil on Sunday, with Ugandan athletes dominating the men’s and women’s contests at the second annual FNB CitySurfRun.
With local athletes also delivering some impressive performances, we take a closer look at the battles that took place.
Again living up to the hype, defending champion Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda stormed to an impressive win, brushing aside his opposition to take 12 seconds off his SA open record as he completed the race in 27:16.
“I am really happy with today. The knee is now 100% and today’s time shows me I am in better shape than I thought,” said Cheptegei after the race.
“I said at the Press Conference on Friday that I wanted 27:20 or better, but I did not expect to go this much better.”
Swiss prospect Julien Wanders broke the European record, clocking 27:32 in the second position, and national record holder Stephen Mokoka was the first South African man home, grabbing
Ugandan athlete Stella Chesang shook off the rest of the elite field with a relentless charge, taking the win in 31:14 to obliterate the SA all-comers’ record of 31:33 which had been set by Elana Meyer in Durban in 1991.
“I felt I was in good shape, so when the gun went off, I just went,” said Chesang.
“No one came with but I felt good, so I just kept on going. This is a big result for me. I took 30 seconds off my best, so it really was a good day at the office for me.”
Chesang’s compatriot Mercyline Chelangat, who won the race last year, took second place in 31:33, and local favourite Irvette van Zyl set an impressive personal best of 32:06 to finish third.
“I went out a bit too hard in the beginning and I think that cost me,” said Van Zyl.
bittersweetbecause it is so close, but I have to be satisfied with my form. It is a massive PB (14 seconds), so that is at least something, but it was so close.”
Men: 1 Joshua Cheptegei (UGA) 27:16, 2 Julien Wanders (SUI) 27:32, 3 Moses Koech (KEN) 27:46, 4 Stephen Kissa (UGA) 27:47, 5 Mande Bushendich (UGA) 28:01, 6 Stephen Mokoka (RSA) 28:18, 7 Filmon Ande (ERI) 28:29, 8 Ryan Mphahlele (RSA) 28:46, 9 Elroy Gelant (RSA) 29:01, 10 Canisious Nyamutsita (ZIM) 29:08
Women: 1 Stella Chesang (UGA) 31:14, 2 Mercyline Chelangat (UGA) 31:33, 3 Irvette van Zyl (RSA) 32:06, 4 Glenrose Xaba (RSA) 33:14, 5 Gerda Steyn (RSA) 33:36, 6 Caroline Mhandu (ZIM) 34:23, 7 Betha Chikanga (ZIM) 34:28, 8 Maria Shai (RSA) 35:09, 9 Cornelia Joubert (RSA) 35:36, 10 Makhosazane Mhlongo (RSA) 35:45