Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
WOSTMANN TARGETS HISTORIC DOUBLE
Caroline Wostmann has the ability to join an illustrious group of athletes by winning the Comrades Marathon in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday, according to her coach.
If Wostmann secures victory in the 87.72km ‘up’ run she will become the fourth athlete – after Derek Preiss, Frith van der Merwe and Elena Nurgalieva – to win Two Oceans and Comrades in the same year.
“I forced Caroline to do a proper recovery during the week after she had won the Two Oceans, and then I started to slowly build her up again,” said High Performance Centre coach Lindsey Parry.
“We certainly did not rush back to full training, and I was surprised to see how well she recovered.”
Parry had carefully monitored every training session Wostmann had done since winning the Two Oceans in Cape Town in April, and he was pleased with the way she had bounced back.
“I am very positive about Sunday. We have a race plan that effectively ensures that she holds back for the first 50 or so kilometres,” he said.
“From then on it will depend on how she feels. Judging by what happened at the Two Oceans, we won’t actually know what she is capable of until up to that moment.
“Our whole training strategy has been aimed at helping Caroline take control over the last 30km.
“She will face her biggest challenge over the first 30km because the pace that she is comfortable with is too fast for what she needs to be doing, so it will boil down to whether she has the discipline to control herself.”
Having become the first SA woman in 15 years to win Two Oceans, Wostmann remained quietly confident of becoming the first local woman in 17 years to bag the Comrades title.
While South African men have dominated the race in recent years, winning the last three editions of the ultra-distance event, no local woman has won the gruelling race since Rae Bisschoff in 1998.
With Om die Dam winner Riana van Niekerk withdrawing on the eve of the race after being diagnosed with cancer, hopes for a local victory this weekend are likely to rest on Wostmann, who was sixth last year, as well as former marathon specialist Charne Bosman and in-form five-time gold medallist Yolande Maclean.
“I can only do what I am able to do. In other words, I can only run the race I am capable of running,” Wostmann said.
“If it is a bad day and I ‘bum’ out, so be it. All that matters to me is to know that I have run to the best of my ability on the day.
“If everything goes as well, as it did with the Two Oceans, I might just be in with a chance, but the Comrades is a very unpredictable race in which anything can happen.”