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Gergo and Orla conquer 5km

World Transport Games 2013

World Transport Games 2013

The compact frame of Hungarian Gergo Mezei took line honours in the 5km Road Race at the World Transplant Games in Durban today running a time of 17.36

The 25 year old looked comfortable the entire race, running in the lead group of three athletes he made his calculated break just after going through the 3km mark. He powered his way to a comfortable lead ahead of Matthew Salkeld, 17, representing Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Montague Summers from Australia.

Salkeld worked hard in the last 1km to finish ten seconds behind the Hungarian and eight seconds clear of the Australian, managing to close the gap on Mezei.

Mezei had a kidney transplant in 2005. “The first 2km were hard, the gradual hills were tough. I ran through the first 1km in a time of 3minutes and 15 seconds, so I am happy with my time. My strides were long and strong on the flat which helped me break away from Matthew and Montague.”

The young athlete who claimed victory in both overall and age category competed in the 2011 games in Sweden and 2009 in Australia. “I won the category in both of those events so I am ecstatic with taking the overall win this year!” said a delighted Mezei.

Second placed Salkeld from Carlise in Cumbria had a liver transplant in 1997, “I have always wanted to come to South Africa and I am just loving my time here. I have my Mum and Dad here along with my sister so have my own supporters.” he said beaming.

The British transplant running sensation is also competing in the 800m and 1,500m later this week in the track and field events. “This year I am just competing in the athletics. My favourite is the 400m and 800m, well that is what I choose to compete in for my club.”

Salkeld is off to a good start in Durban having received 3 Golds, 2 Bronzes and the Best Junior Award in Sweden. He competed in the Team 5km running event, the 4 x 400m relay and the squash last year. “Today’s run was very good and very tiring. The hills at the beginning were challenging but overall it was a great run.”

The leading lady, Orla Smyth from Belfast in Northern Ireland representing Great Britain and Northern Ireland said the race was tough, “It was a lovely course, but it was extremely hot. This is my second Games and I won the title there, so I am glad that I defended my title!”

“Every time I go out and run, I go out and do my best and if that gives me gold, then I am of course delighted with that.”

116 athletes took to the large circular race track that began at Kings Park Pool taking them towards the ocean; then turning towards Blue Lagoon, then back inland and then the long stretch alongside Durban Country Club finishing alongside Kings Park Pool. All 116 athletes finished with the youngest aged runner being Salkeld and the oldest aged runner, David Rozelle who is 75 years.

Race Organiser, Clyde Kinloch was happy with the overall running of the race, “The race went very well. It was a flat fast course and the weather was perfect. The wind did pick up a bit as most of the runners were finishing, so they had a bit of headwind slowing them down. Otherwise everything went well!”

image by Val Adamson


Overall Men:

1 Gergo Mezei (Hungary) 17.36, 2 Matthew Salkeld (Great Britain and Northern Ireland) 17.46, 3 Montague Summers (Australia) 17.54, 4 Joaquin Lacon (Spain) 18.51, 5 Daniel Matsoso (South Africa) 19.13, 6

Overall Women

1 Orla Smyth (Great Britain and Northern Ireland) 22.59, 2 AndrßsnÚ Jung (Hungary) 23.06, 3 Zanelle Britz (South Africa) 23.51, 4 Marie Debine (Great Britain and Northern Ireland) 23.57, 5 Ulrika Svantesson (Sweden) 24.01

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