Hercules Wimbledon race walker Estle Viljoen was the toast of her clubmates this week after lifting her first national road walking title and, less than 24 hours later, winning an inter-regional track walk.

Viljoen, 31, a teacher at Haslemere Primary School in Merton, took up race walking less than two years ago when an injury stopped her running.

She has since won several South of England and Surrey titles and took a silver medal in last year's Nat-ional 5km Championship.

But she won the national 10km event in Leicester by more than three minutes, in 49 minutes six seconds, to take 40 seconds off her previous best time for the distance.

She led the women's race from the start and also beat all but two of the 50-strong men's field.

Viljoen who just failed to make the South African team for this summer's Commonwealth Games in Manchester becomes the first Hercules Wimbledon athlete to win a national title since Dave Clarke won his third consecutive Eng-lish senior cross country title in 1988.

The next day competing for the South of England in a 3000 metres track walk at Watford.

he dominated the field to win in 13:51, a personal best time by 19 seconds.

September 4, 2002 11:30