Phalula sisters aim to keep women’s title in the family

2015-05-08 10:21
Twin sisters Lebogang (left) and Diana-Lebo Phalula will engage in some friendly sibling rivalry when the 10km SPAR Women’s Challenge takes place in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, May 9. 

Twin sisters Lebogang (left) and Diana-Lebo Phalula will engage in some friendly sibling rivalry when the 10km SPAR Women’s Challenge takes place in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, May 9. Photo: SUPPLIED

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

TWO Oceans half marathon winner Lebogang Phalula will be aiming to keep the SPAR Women’s Challenge 10km title in the family when the Port Elizabeth race takes place at Pollok Beach on Saturday, May 9.

The Transnet athlete and her twin sister, defending champion Diana-Lebo, will engage in some friendly sibling rivalry as they vie for the second leg of the national SPAR Grand Prix Series.

“The series is the biggest event of the year and it’s my turn to win it,” said Lebogang.

Her sister twice won the Eastern Cape edition – first in 2011, and again in record-breaking time last year en route to the overall series victory.

Diana-Lebo’s time of 32:27 was the fastest Women’s Challenge win in the history of the national event.

“We’re both looking forward to this year’s race and she’s helping me with my training and technique to try and break her record,” said Lebogang.

“That was a fast time, but I’m going to try and beat it.”

The 32-year-old said although the fast and flat course played to her strengths, the PE wind would always be a factor.

“I do love a flat course but if there’s wind it’s going to be difficult for me because I don’t have the power to push against it.”

The elite athlete will face stiff competition from the likes of Mapaseka Makhanya, who set a new record in the first race in Cape Town to lead the series on points.

Lebogang, who is currently second in the standings behind Makhanya, said however that she would not focus too much on her rivals but rather on the clock.

“I run against time not against anyone.”

If anything, she said, she performed better when she was running alongside her sister.

“I feel more comfortable and enjoy my race more when I’m with her. I love her so much – she’s my best friend.”

The identical pair, who hail from Diepkloof in Soweto, are usually distinguishable by their footwear or lack thereof.

“I have a running shoe sponsor that helps me with everything but my sister says she feels light when she runs barefoot.

“I used to run barefoot as well, but I think pregnancy has changed me a lot,” said Lebogang, who gave birth to her first child two years ago.

With her season already off to a good start with the Two Oceans win, she said she would be looking to qualify for the 1 500m track event at the Worlds in Beijing, China, in August.

For more information find SPAR Women’s Challenge Port Elizabeth on Facebook or follow @sparchallengepe and @spar_ec.

Enter online at or collect a form from any SUPERSPAR, SPAR or KWIKSPAR store

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.