HOMEGROWN MTHEMBU EXCELS IN COMRADE MARATHON
By: Lucky Khanyile
Another South African has won the Comrades Marathon.
Bulwer-born Bongmusa Mthembu followed in the footsteps of his countryman Claude Moshiywa as he won the 2014’s Comrade Marathon.
Mthembu crossed the finish line shortly before 11am, completing the 89km race from Pietermaritzburg to Durban in five hours, 27 seconds.
The Nedbank runner has been consistent over the years. In 2010 he came third and he was second in 2012.
Meanwhile, other South African runners did well on the day as the 2012 “down-run” champion, Ludwick Mamabolo came second and Gift Kelele clinched third spot.
KwaZulu-Natal Sports and Recreation MEC Ntombikayise Sabhidla Saphetha acknowledged Mthembu’s achievement and said that it will motivate many young athletes in the province.
“This will certainly send a strong message to many young athletes that nothing is impossible if you are committed and hard working,” Saphetha was quoated on Eye Witness News.
The woman’s race was something of a shock, as neither of the Russian twins Elena and Olesya Nurgalieva won the race.
Instead, British-born Canadian runner Eleanor Greenwood won the title and put a halt on the Nurgalieva’s dominance. Had Elena won, she would have equalled Bruce Fordyce’s nine win record.
Both man and woman winners took home R350000.
Top ten winners for men were Bongumusa Mthembu, Ludwick Mamabolo, Gift Kelele, and the Zimbabwean who has tasted victory before Stephen Muzhingi, Rufus Photo, Mncedisi Mkhize, Jonas Buud, William Makwalakwala, Prodical Khuma and Latudi Makofane.
The top ten winners for women were Briton Eleanor Greenwood, Elena Nurgalieva, Olesya Nurgalieva, Irina Antrapova, Camille Herron, Jo Meek, Caroline Wostmann, Frida Sodermark, Zola Budd Pieterse and Martinique Potgieter.