MOSHIYWA ENDS 21 YEARS ‘UP RUN’ DRAUGHT
By: Siyanda Ndlovu
After 21 years of international athletes dominating the ‘up’ run Comrades Marathon (i.e. from Durban to Pietermaritzburg), Claude Moshiywa became the first South African athlete to win the race since Jetman Msutu in 1992.
The race started from the Durban City Hall and ended in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday.Moshiywa, who finished on the 9th position in last year’s Marathon, took the lead from Johannes Kekana who finished fifth overall.
With less than 25 km to the finishing line, South African duo Kekane and Moshiywa were leading the race. But Kekane steadily lowered the pace and Moshiywa capitalized on that. He was happy to have finally ended the drought and to make his country proud.
“I can’t describe the feeling…I was so excited when I reached the final stretch and it means a lot to have done it after so many years,” he said.
Defending champion, Ludwick Mamabolo, who was recently cleared from doping scandal was not far as he came fourth position. Sweden’s Johan Buud and Lesotho’s Mpesela Ntlosoeu came on the second and third spot respectively.
Mamabolo, whom a lot of people had doubted due to the doping case, said that he’s happy to be in the top 10. “I’m very happy to make the top 10 considering the amount of pressure I’ve been under,” he said.
“Everybody said I won’t be able to perform and wrote me off, but I did my best and am very happy with this, I regard myself as a champion and I’m extremely happy that a South African has won.”
Zimbabwe’s Stephen Muzhingi, a three times champion, finished the race at 10th spot.
Meanwhile, there was no transformation in the women’s race as Russian Elena Nurgalieva continued with her dominance, winning her eighth comrades and a fourth one consecutively. Her twin Olesya came on the second spot.
The first SA woman to cross the line was Novice Charne Bosman who finished on the fifth spot.
All the top 10 results
1 Claude Moshiywa 5:32:08 1 Elena Nurgalieva 6:27:08
2 Jonas Buud 5:34:27 2 Olesya Nurgalieva 6:28:06
3 Mpesela Ntlosoeu 5:41:20 3 Irina Antropova 6:44:36
4 Ludwick Mamabolo 5:45:48 4 Joasia Zakrzewski 6:53:28
5 Johannes Kekana 5:46:26 5 Charne Bosman 6:53:34
6 Henry Moyo 5:46:51 6 Marina Zhalybina 6:56:54
7 Joseph Mphuthi 5:47:59 7 Holly Rush 7:04:20
8 Mike Fokoroni 5:50:18 8 Melanie van Rooyen 7:08:09
9 Rufus Photo 5:51:51 9 Kerry Koen 7:15:06
10 Stephen Muzhingi 5:52:37 10 Julanie Basson 7:21:01