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Kalmer cruises to PB

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Sunday November 20, 2011

By Mark Etheridge

Multi-talented Rene Kalmer has surely raced her way to a spot on Team South Africa for next year’s Olympic Games in London.

This after a huge personal best time for the standard marathon in Japan on Sunday.

Kalmer, who celebrated her 31st birthday earlier this month, was an invited elite runner at the the annual Yokohama Marathon and scorched to a fantastic fifth spot in 2hr 29min 59sec.

Until Sunday her best time over the 42.2km event was the 2:34:47 she ran in Prague, Czech Republic earlier this year.

Put into perspective, her time is the 15th fastest ever by a South African women with the impressive trio of Olympians Elana Meyer, Colleen de Reuck and then Frith van der Merwe having gone quicker than her. On Sunday’s performance she will surely join them as a competitor a the global sporting spectacle.

Race winner was Japan’s Ryoka Kizaki in 2:26:32 from fellow Japanese athlete Yoshimi Ozaki (2:26:49).

“I’m on cloud nine,” Kalmer told Road to London 2012 from Japan on Sunday. “I had a perfect race. This year has been very frustrating for me with the races not really reflecting my shape and then the niggling ITB injury as well.”

Reflecting on her race shortly before she headed off to prize giving, Kalmer said: “I stuck to my race plan and went out at 3:33min/km pace. I was almost in 20th position but started to catch the girls one by one from 10km ito the race. I was only ranked 18th coming into the race, so there was no pressure on me. I beat some good names today.”

Kalmer had been worried about rain forecast for Sunday’s race but instead it was the heat that proved the main threat. “Conditions weren’t perfect, about 24C – almost 10C hotter than usual for this time of the year. It was also weird that the race started at 12.10pm!

“I think with the hot weather in Jozi the last two months played in my favour and running in tough conditions in Daegu [World championships earlier this year] paid off today.

“I hope that was enough to secure my place to th Olympics. It is the fastest time by an SA athlete since 1999.”

Kalmer will now jet off to Hong Kong on Monday for what is a well-deserved holiday.

Meyer’s SA best over the standard marathion is the 2:25:15 she ran in Boston 17 years ago while De Reuck ran 2:26:35 in Berlin two years later.

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