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Kenya’s Alfred Ngeno smashes Joburg 10K Cityrun record

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Kenya’s Alfred Ngeno smashes Joburg 10K Cityrun record - Sports Leo

Kenya’s Alfred Ngeno broke the course record in winning the FNB Joburg 10K Cityrun as he crossed the line one second ahead of Kevin Kibet on Tuesday, National Heritage Day in South Africa.

Ngeno’s time of 29:16 was 11 seconds better than the previous course record set by Filman Ande of Eritrea in 2018.

Some 15 000 runners lined up outside FNB Bank City in Simmonds Street for the fourth running of the Joburg 10K in near perfect conditions.

The race has become synonymous with bringing in international athletes to compete against South Africa’s best, which has gone a long way to raising the standard and the competitive edge of local athletes.

The start of Tuesday’s Joburg 10K was fast and furious, with the first 2km passed in 5:20 and, by 3km, the leading pack had been whittled down to six. Ngeno, Kibet and South Africa’s Elroy Gelant driving the pace, with former champion Namakoe Nkasi and Joel Mmone sitting comfortably behind the leaders.

But, when the route turned down towards the Ellis Park Sports Complex, the gaps appeared, with only Gelant and Junior Albert Tonui keeping up with Kibet and Ngeno.

By the 5km mark, with the time 14:37, it was evident the course record was on.

The climb up to and past the halfway mark had taken its toll on Gelant, who had raced a marathon a week earlier and could feel that effort in his legs.

Kibet and Ngeno threw in a surge and very quickly Gelant and Tonui were off the pace as the front pair raced up towards 8km.

Once the leading duo had broken Gelant and Tonui, they were content to pace each other down to the final kilometre.

In the closest finish yet in the Joburg 10K, Ngeno dipped Kibet on the line, with only a second separating the two.

Gelant, running in no man’s land from 7km onwards, came home in third, running his fastest time yet on this route, crossing the line in 29:38.

“I am happy to have won here today,” said Ngeno. “The climb from 4km to 7km was tough, but I felt really good on the downhill to the finish. I was hoping to break Kevin (Kibet) earlier and not have to sprint for the finish. But I came here for the win and I got it. The course record is a big bonus for me.”

Ethiopia’s Tadu Nare came within one second of the course record of Irvette van Zyl when she won the women’s race in 33:53.

Mary Nyaruai Ekiru was second and Comrades champion Gerda Steyn finished third.

In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo

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