Windhoek - At the age of 38, one would be thinking about retirement but Namibian superstar Helalia Johannes continues to defy the odds as she added yet another medal to her collection with her fourth successive victory in the Spar Women’s Challenge race in Tshwane, South Africa, this past weekend.
In a record-breaking 32 minutes and 29 seconds, Johannes clinched her successive fourth 10km Spar Women’s Challenge race in Tshwane at the Supersport Park defeating 25 000 runners.
There was a difference of 1 minute and 9 seconds between Johannes and second placed Tadu Bare from Ethiopia. Rutendo Nyahora of Zimbabwe was third in a time of 34.40.
Johannes went into last weekend’s race oozing energy after she came second in the Bogota half-marathon in Colombia last month.
On Saturday, Johannes led from the start to finish and attributed her good race to the confidence and energy she currently has.
“My coach told me not to worry about anyone else, but to run my own race. I was feeling good and I am happy with my performance,” she told Supersport.
Johannes said that she will try to compete in any as many races before the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) world athletics championships.
This year’s IAFF world athletics championships are scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October in Doha, Qatar, at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium.
Johannes said that she will also be going back to South Africa to compete in the Pietermaritzburg Spar Challenge later this month but it appears that she won’t be competing in the last Spar Challenge in Johannesburg due to dates clash with the IAAF world athletics championships.
"I am training for the world marathon championships and they are just before the Joburg race, so I will just have to see how I feel,” she said.
Johannes, born on 13 August 1980, is a Namibian long-distance runner who specialises in the marathon. She holds the Namibian records in the 10 km, 20 km, half marathon and marathon events.
She represented her country at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2012 London Olympics and 2018 Commonwealth Games and has won medals at the Military World Games, the All-Africa Games and at the 2018 Commonwealth Games