Xaba off to a flying start

athletics27 March 2024 09:00
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Glenrose Xaba

Former Spar Grand Prix winner Glenrose Xaba (Boxer) got her 2024 Spar Grand Prix Challenge off to a brilliant start by winning the opening SPAR Women’s Challenge 10km race in Cape Town on Sunday in 32:17, just pipping Ethiopian junior Diniya Kedir Abaraya (Nedbank) across the finish line.

Xaba was the first South African since 2018 to win a Spar Women’s Challenge 10km race. Her narrow victory gets her off to an excellent start in the pursuit of the Spar Grand Prix title, with a total of 30 points – 20 for the win and 10 bonus points for finishing within the target time. The winner of the Spar Grand Prix will receive prize money of R200 000.

Abaraya is in second position, with 29 points and her compatriot and teammate Getenesh Agafaw is in third, with 23. Agafaw received five bonus points.

Eight South Africans finished in the top ten, and Cacisile Sosibo (Boxer) and former Spar Grand Prix winner Kesa Molotsane (Kovsiesport) both received five bonus points. Karabo Mailula (TUKS) is in sixth place and she is followed by two more former Spar Grand Prix winners, Lebogang Phalula-Luthuli and Lebo Phalula in seventh and eighth place. Bianca Tarboton is in ninth and Betha Sitariko (Atlantic) is in 10th position.

The Spar Grand Prix has been dominated by athletes from elsewhere in Africa since 2019 and South African runners have been offered additional incentives this year to encourage good times and performances. The best-placed South African will receive an additional R75 000, with R50 00 for the second and R30 000 for the third-placed local athlete.

The top South African in the Spar Grand Prix series will also be given the use of a new Proton SUV X50 for a year valued over R200 000. She will receive the keys to the car at the Spar Grand Prix Awards ceremony and return them at the ceremony next year.


Elite runners can earn Spar Grand Prix points from five Spar Women’s Challenge races this year – Cape Town, Durban, Tshwane, Gqeberha and Johannesburg – but only their top four performances will count. This means that runners can miss one race without being disadvantaged. Some runners may miss the Tshwane race because of the Olympic Games in Paris from July 26 to August 11, while others may have other international duties.

Xaba, meanwhile, is on her way to Belgrade in Serbia to represent South Africa in the World Cross Country Championships on 30 March.