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Zimbabwean comes 4th in Comrades Marathon

by Ellina Mhlanga
30 May 2016 at 06:37hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE'S Mike Fokorani is getting better with age after displaying another remarkable performance yesterday when he came fourth in the Comrades Marathon in Durban, South Africa.

The veteran long-distance runner had a good day as he crossed the finish line in 5 hours 35 minutes 9 seconds to settle for fourth place in a race regarded as the greatest ultra-marathon in the world.

The Bindura-based athlete's success comes just two months after another fruitful adventure when he won the men's Two Oceans Ultra Marathon in Cape Town in March. Fokorani stopped the clock in 3hours 13minutes 33seconds in what was a Zimbabwean affair as he beat Collen Makaza, who came second in 3hours 14minutes 45seconds.

And the 39-year-old Zimbabwean continued with his brilliant show as he emerged among the best again yesterday by coming fourth. In 2013, he came eighth in the same race. National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe junior development coach, Silas Muringani, said the recent achievements by Fokorani will be an inspiration to upcoming athletes.

"He ran well. Last time he came first in the Two Oceans. I believe his performance will inspire a lot of upcoming athletes particularly those in the ultra-distances and were feeling that maybe they cannot do it.

"I am sure with Mike's performance they now believe they can do it," said Muringani. Other Zimbabweans who have competed in the Comrades Marathon before include Stephen Muzhingi, who won the race on three consecutive occasions from 2009 to 2011. He was the first Zimbabwean to win the race.

The Comrades Marathon is run between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg every year. The race alternates between an up and down run from the coast inland and vice versa. Yesterday's race was won by South Africa's David Gatebe in 5hours 18minutes 19seconds setting a new record for the down run.

He broke the previous record set by Russia's Leonid Shvetsov's of 5 hours 20 minutes 49 seconds in 2007. He was followed by fellow South Africans Ludwick Mamabolo, who stopped the clock in 5hours 24minutes 5seconds to finish second. And Bongmusa Mthembu was third in 5hours 26minutes 39seconds.

It was a South African affair again in the women's section with Charne Bosman and Caroline Wostmann claiming the first and second positions. Bosman romped to victory in 6hours 25minutes 55seconds while Wostmann was second to cross the finish line in 6 hours 30 minutes 44 seconds.

On third and fourth positions were Sweden's Kajsa Berg and Sarah Bard of the United States.

Source - the herald