Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
WOSTMANN LOOKS AHEAD TO BRIGHT FUTURE
South Africa’s newest ultra-distance sensation, Caroline Wostmann, is looking forward to the options laid out in front of her, after producing a superb performance at the Comrades Marathon on Sunday.
The 32-year-old lecturer and chartered accountant from Gauteng, who in the last few years has elevated herself from being a decent club runner to one of the most respected ultra runners in the world, won the 87.7km ‘up’ run in KwaZulu-Natal in 6:12:22.
She was less than three minutes outside the nine-year-old race record held by Russian Elena Nurgalieva, becoming only the fourth person to win the Two Oceans and Comrades marathons in the same year.
“I will definitely race again this year, but we have no definite plans,” Wostmann said on Monday.
“I’ll need to sit down with Lindsey (Parry) and discuss the possibilities.
“One option, for example, is to try and improve my standard marathon time, and another is to compete at the 100km World Championships.”
While she had not written off the possibility, Wostmann said she was unlikely to try and qualify for the 42km race at next year’s Rio Olympics, due to the current depth in SA women’s marathon running.
She hoped, however, Athletics SA would consider sending a squad to the global ultra-distance championships in Winschoten, Netherlands, in September, after the federation opted not to do so in recent years.
“Considering how well the ladies are running, and with Charne (Bosman) and I finishing first and second this weekend, I think they might want to send a team.”
Wostmann, who was sixth at last year’s Comrades, became the first local woman to win the race in 17 years, romping to victory with such dominance that she covered the 8km split from Polly Shortts to the finish faster than men’s winner Gift Kelehe.
After walking a couple of times in the early stages as part of her strategy, in order to rest her legs, she covered the second half eight minutes faster than the first.
Bosman, who is also coached by Parry, took second place in 6:33:24, bringing an end to the foreign domination of the women’s race, with former winners Elena and Olesya Nurgalieva of Russia finishing third and fourth respectively.
Meanwhile, in the men’s race, Kelehe secured a well-deserved victory in 5:38:46.
While the times up front were relatively pedestrian, with the race run in warm conditions, Kelehe coasted to victory by almost eight minutes over Ethiopia’s Mohammed Husien.
It was his fourth gold medal, having paid his dues by finishing third on last year’s ‘down’ run, and his triumph came 14 years after older brother Andrew had earned the Kelehe family’s first Comrades win.
Six South African men finished among the top 10.
* Results are available in our Results section