Tuesday, 21 June 2022 13:43

Genzebe Dibaba returns to SA this time for the Absa Run Your City.

Staff Reporter.

@AP.

One of the best female athletes in the world, the holder of four world records and two world bests, Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba has announced that she will run in the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K on Sunday 10 July 2022.

After finishing third at the first event of the 2022 Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series, Event Organiser, Stillwater Sports, has confirmed that Dibaba will be back to again attempt a world class 10km time, when she takes on the second event in the series, the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K. She will join thousands of other runners as they #RunForDurban to raise money for people severely affected by the recent floods in KZN.

"Having Genzebe Dibaba race in the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K is a massive privilege and confirms that we are serious about bringing the best in the world to South Africa to race against SA’s finest on home soil,” says Michael Meyer, Managing Director of Stillwater Sports and Founder of the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series. “Our goal is to give South Africans world class competition and the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series is doing just that. That Dibaba comes here to race shows that we are on the right track to achieving this objective. The cherry on top is that, although an athlete like Dibaba is in demand worldwide, she has expressed a strong desire to run in Durban to again experience a world class event on African soil."

"I have unfinished business, as I came here to win and run a fast time, so I will be back," were the words of Dibaba after her third-place finish at the Cape Town event earlier this year. Dibaba crossed the line in 31:02, the third fastest time ever run in South Africa by a female athlete. Now she has her sights set on returning to South Africa to race in the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K on 10 July – and is eager to break the SA All Comers record of 30:40 set by Stella Chesang in the Cape Town leg of the series on 15 May 2022.

Genzebe Dibaba is arguably the best athlete to set foot on South African soil and her appearance at the Absa RUN YOUR CITY CAPE TOWN 10K was a massive coup for race organiser, Stillwater Sports.

Dibaba, although running a superb 31:02 in Cape Town felt she could have gone faster in her 10km debut on the road and is eager to see just how much faster she can go come 10 July. "I made some mistakes and it cost me in Cape Town,” said Dibaba. “But this was only my first ever 10km and only my third road race, so I am still learning how to race on the roads. It is very different to the track."

And it is on the track, in particular on the bouncy curves of the indoor circuit, that Dibaba was so dominant with four gold medals at the World Indoor Championships in the 1500m and the 3000m to go with the World Indoor Records in the mile, 3000m and 5000m. Dibaba still holds the 1500m World Record outdoors and the fastest ever times over the 2000m (5:23.75) and 2miles (9:00.48) indoors.

The two excursions on the road prior to her visit to Cape Town on 15 May, were over 5km in Carlsbad in 2015 where she clocked 14:48 to win (18th on the World All Time List), and 65:18 in the Valencia Half Marathon, also for a victory. The Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K will be the fourth time that she sets foot on the roads and with the fast and flat course designed for the Durban leg of the race, expect an onslaught on the 30:40 SA All Comers Record set Stella Chesang of Uganda.

"I want to go better than Cape Town and improve the time set by Stella (Chesang). I know the route is geared for fast times and that conditions in Durban at that time of the year are near perfect, so I am excited to return to South Africa and run fast," said Dibaba.

The 31-year-old Ethiopian has been in hard training in Addis Ababa (2300m altitude) for specifically the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K and all indications is that she is approaching form that rivals the best of her career. That Dibaba has the speed isithout question, her numerous World Records are proof enough. With her new focus on the roads, expect more records to be under threat and first and foremost will be the 30:40 SA All Comers Record.