Top South African roadrunner Glenrose Xaba has claimed 21km national honours on Saturday, sealing the most successful of debuts when she won the 2019 ASA Half-Marathon Championships at Pollok Beach in Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth, on July 27.
Finishing in third position overall, behind Ethiopian pre-race favourite Tadu Nare and Kenyan Sarah Naibei, Xaba scooped bragging rights after turning her focus to the half-marathon and laying down a Half Marathon World champs qualifying time run in her first attempt.
“I was expecting to do so well, because I knew that I had done good preparations for it.” – 2019 SA Half Marathon Champion, Glenrose Xaba
Speaking to gsport shortly after her victory, Xaba said: “I can say the race was so very fine for me, since I was preparing very well for it.”
The result could not have come at a better time for Xaba, who is preparing to compete at the World Half Marathon Championships in Gdydnia, Poland in March 2020.
“I was expecting to qualify since my manager told me I should qualify for the World Champs, so I just ran it!”
“They [ASA] says only the top six will qualify for the World Champs, and I am in a strong position to be included in the team, because I am the first South African to cross the line,” said Xaba.
Asked how she felt about finishing ahead of 2019 Two Oceans and Comrades Marathon champion, Gerda Steyn, Xaba said: “I can say that I am very happy with my performance, because I did not think I could run a good run like that. But I am so very excited to run with her, she is a good athlete!”
Leading Results of the Athletics SA 2019 Half Marathon Championships, at Pollok Beach in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, 27 July:
1. Tadu Nare (Ethiopia) 1:10:20
2. Sarah Naibei (Kenya) 1:10:54
3. Glenrose Xaba (Boxer) 1:11:08
4. Gerda Steyn (Nedbank) 1:11:53
5. Jenet Mbhele (AKZN) 1:12:08
6. Fortunate Chidzivo (Temp) 1:12:46
7. Neheng Khatala (Nedbank) 1:13:14
8. Lebo Phalula (CGA) 1:15:33
9. Alina Armas (Namibia) 1:16:54
10. Lebogang Phalula-Luthuli (CGA) 1:17:03
Photo 1 Caption: The top 10 finishers at the 2019 Athletics SA Half Marathon Championships run at Pollok Beach in Port Elizabeth, on Saturday, 27 July. Photo: Gerda Steyn