Twins Lebo and Lebogang Phalula have a point to prove on Sunday when they take on Irvette van Zyl at the FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN.
More than wanting to beat Van Zyl is at stake at this year’s event. By finishing third and fourth in the inaugural event last year, the twins were the first South Africans across the line and this is not a ‘title’ they wish to relinquish.
The twins failed to beat the in-form Irvette Van Zyl at the Spar Ladies race in Port Elizabeth last weekend.
Lebo Phalula was crowned the 2016 SA 10km champion in February this year. However, when she met Van Zyl for the first time this year over 3 000m at the ASA Nite Series on 8 March, Lebo was not able to stay with Van Zyl who clocked 9:11.51 for a personal best to the 9:19:05 of Lebo Phalula.
Lebo Phalula made sure of her candidature for the Olympic marathon team after finishing fifth at the Enschede Marathon on 17 April (2:33.48), the same weekend that sister Lebogang faced Van Zyl again in the first of the Spar series in Cape Town. Again it was Van Zyl who won with Lebogang finishing 3rd.
There is nothing the fiercely competitive Phalula twins dislike more than not winning and after sweeping all before them in 2015, having to currently play second fiddle to a rampant Van Zyl is not part of their plan. This means that both Lebo and Lebogang will want to make sure that they are the Queen of the Road on Sunday.
‘We were the best South Africans at the FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN in 2015 and we want to retain that status. We know that Irvette is in really great shape and it will take a lot to beat her, but we look forward to the challenge and as ever will give our best on race day,’ said Lebo and Lebogang in a joint statement.
They will have their work cut out for them as Van Zyl holds the fastest times in South Africa over 3 000m (9:11.51), 5 000m (16:02.63), 10km (33:24), the half marathon (72:08) and the marathon (2:32.20). Come Sunday, South Africa will know if Van Zyl can be dethroned.
Picture of Lebogang Phalula courtesy of Tyrone Arthur