Ethiopian star Selam Gebre dominates Joburg 10km race

Ethiopian star Selam Gebre dominates Joburg 10km race

Fresh off her victory in the final leg of the Spar Women’s 10km Grand Prix series in Joburg, Ethiopian sensation Salem Gebre has some advice to offer South African runners.

On Sunday, Gebre and her compatriot Debash Desta secured the top two positions at Marks Park Sports Centre. 

Gebre crossed the finish line with a time of 33 minutes and 41 seconds, earning herself a prize of R30 000.

Desta followed closely behind in second place with a time of 33:55, collecting R25 000, while Irvette Van Zyl emerged as the first South African runner to complete the race, finishing in third place with a time of 35:08 and earning R20 000. Grebre and overall series Tadu Nare’s dominance in the six-race series, which began in Cape Town in July and concluded in Joburg was evident.

She wasted no time in offering valuable advice to local runners on how to secure victory in the race.

"To be honest with you when it comes to infrastructure like I said they have fantastic infrastructures. The weather is actually really good, it's the same as ours and the only thing that's I would say is that our coaches do not give us any room to step out of line. They don't give us that room," Gebre said.

"We actually spend time with them [coaches], sleep, eat and even dream about athletics, about running. It is our work; it is our life. So, they [South African athletes] need to be put in such kind of environment where they are not distracted with anything else if that is what they want to do. 

Let them put everything in there and then if they are disciplined enough and they put in hard work, there's no reason why they wouldn't come out on top."

Gebre had consistently secured second place in five previous races and was thrilled to finally clinch a first-place finish.

This achievement came in the absence of her compatriot and series champion, Tadu Nare, who is preparing for an upcoming marathon in New York.

"It's been a wonderful journey since the beginning. I've been second throughout and I came first, so, it's good to finish on top and have a taste of it. So that next year when I come for the next, God willing, when I come back, I'm gonna push myself so that I attain and keep this position. So, that's my plan and target."