DURBAN:- Taking advantage of good conditions in the coastal city, Tumelo Motlagale and Jenet Mbhele won the national titles at the ASA Marathon Championships in Durban on Sunday
Picture below:- Tumelo Motlagale of the Athletics Central Club in North West, won the national men’s title in 2:11:15 hours
With the ASA Marathon Championships incorporated into the Durban International Marathon, Motlagale won the national men’s title in 2:11:15 in the colours of Athletics Central North West (ACNW). Though the open race was initially won by Zimbabwe’s Isaac Mpofu in 2:10:04, he was disqualified for a temporary licence rule violation. “This was unexpected, but I guess the training was enough,” said Motlagale, who was promoted to first place. “I have no words. I’m still letting it sink in and trying to enjoy the fruits of my performance today.” While Motlagale shone by achieving the qualifying standard (2:11:30) for this year’s World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, there was also some depth on display in his wake.
Simon Sibeko finished fourth overall in 2:16:06 to earn the silver medal for Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA) in the ASA Marathon Championships, with Bonginkosi Zwane of KwaZulu-Natal Athletics (KZNA) earning bronze by finishing fifth in the open event in 2:16:32. Picture above:- Jenet Mbhele won the womans national title at the ASA Marathon Championships
Mbhele, meanwhile, had to work hard for it in the women’s race, but the KwaZulu-Natal Athletics (KZNA) athlete gritted her teeth to take the national women’s title over the 42km distance. “I am happy to be a South African champion. “I was targeting a top finish and ended up getting a top-three finish,” said Mbhele. She was third overall in the Durban International Marathon, crossing the finish line in 2:43:07, with Kenyan athlete Shelmith Muriuki securing victory in 2:37:54.
Stella Marais of Athletics Gauteng North (AGN) finished fourth overall in 2:46:30, taking silver in the ASA Marathon Championships, and Zinhle Shabalala was fifth in 2:48:03, securing bronze in the domestic battle.
“Congratulations to the winners, their coaches and respective provinces for the achievements of the day” We also recognise all the podium finishers. It was a beautifull race and we say thank you to all athletes, KwaZulu-Natal Athletics and all who made this Championship the success it was,” said James Moloi, the President of Atletics South Africa.
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