Nare takes Spar race grand prize to Ethiopia

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There was no stopping Ethiopian Tadu Nare in this year’s Spar Women’s Grand Prix. Photo: Reg Caldecott / Gallo Images
There was no stopping Ethiopian Tadu Nare in this year’s Spar Women’s Grand Prix. Photo: Reg Caldecott / Gallo Images


She is what legends are made of.

Despite having to shuttle between two countries to compete, Ethiopian mid-distance runner Tadu Nare has been crowned this year’s Spar Grand Prix champion.

With her win in 32 minutes and 33 seconds at Nelson Mandela Bay University in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape, yesterday, the 20-year-old completed a clean sweep of six victories.

This feat was only achieved before by Helalia Johannes of Namibia in 2019, when Nare was the runner-up in all the races.

Nare pocketed R340 000 in prize money. This is a split of R25 000 for each series win and R190 000 for being the overall champion of the grand prix with 150 points from all the races.

Locals Kesa Molotsane and Glenrose Xaba completed the top three in the overall leaderboard in second and third place, respectively.

READ: No stopping Nare as the Ethiopian inches closer to the Spar Grand Prix title

While 2018 champion Molotsane is guaranteed R90 000 as the runner-up, the organisers will determine the distribution of the third prize of R55 000 because of a tie in the position.

Xaba, who is coached by two-time Olympic champion Caster Semenya, finished joint third with Fortunate Chidzivo of Zimbabwe.

Nare, who hails from the Sidama region in Ethiopia, about 270km from the capital Addis Ababa, had on each trip here been granted a visa that was only valid for five days.

As a result, she was forced to fly in and out of South Africa for every race in the series, in which she ran in the colours of the Nedbank Running Club.

In the face of this hectic schedule, Nare still won all the races in the series that started in Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal in August.

It was tough because I had to be on my toes at all times because of the restrictions of the five-day visa
Tadu Nare

She recorded her other victories in Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg with little challenge from her competitors, who included former champions Molotsane, Xaba and Olympian Irvette van Zyl.

“It was tough because I had to be on my toes at all times because of the restrictions of the five-day visa,” said Nare during a post-race press conference.

As for what her plans are for the huge prize, she said: “One of the most important things is to help my family. I will build a house for my mom.”

Next up, Nare said she was looking forward to the Barcelona Marathon in Spain next month, which will be her debut event over the 42km distance.

“I have been training in between the Spar series, doing 35km runs to get ready for the race.”

Nare said she had fallen in love with South Africa and was hoping to return for future competitions.

A Grade 11 pupil at a school in Hawassa, a city in the Great Rift Valley of central Ethiopia, Nare added that she was also planning to continue her studies that were put on hold by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, it is also commendable that Xaba made the top three in five appearances, despite a knee injury forcing her to miss the Cape Town race.

The Boxer Running Club athlete will next line up in the SA 10km Championship at the end of this month.

Yesterday’s event concluded what has been a new way of organising road races in the face of the global health crisis.

The Grand Prix series was an invitation-only competition held under the strict safety rules and health regulations, with limited entries for each event.

The series was also spectator-free because fans are still banned from sports events.

Top 3 results yesterday:

1.Tadu Nare (32:33)

.Tayla Kavanagh (32:51)

3.Glenrose Xaba (32:51)


Daniel Mothowagae 

Deputy sports editor

+27 11 713 9001
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park
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