Zimbabwe female marathon runner Tabitha Tsatsa finished second at the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon as defending champion Steven Muzhingi surrendered his title to South African David Gatebe.
By Our Staff
Tsatsa finished the race with a time of 3:39:57 in a race that was won by Russia’s Natalia Volgina who crossed the finishing line with a time of 3:38:38.
Another Zimbabwean athlete, Rutendo Nyahora finished sixth.
Muzhingi, who was the man to watch, having won the race last year, fell out of the top 10 and his final position was not clear yesterday suggesting that he could have fared badly in the race.
However, the winner Gatebe was 54 seconds outside Muzhingi’s time of 3:08 in which he won the race last year.
Gatebe, an unknown runner before the race, was home in a time of 3:08:54 with Henry Kipsang finishing second in a time of 3:10:02. Lesotho’s Moeketsi Mosuhli’s time of 3:10:23 saw him finishing on third position.
The sponsors of the event, Old Mutual, recently announced that they would be adding a R1 million bonus if the winner (men’s or women’s) breaks the record for the 56km ultra marathon in the 2014 edition.
The men’s record of 3:03:44 was set in 1988 by road running legend Thompson Magawana, while Frith van der Merwe set the women’s record a year later in 1989 when she ran 3:30:36.
The closest any runner has come to the record is Zimbabwean Marko Mambo, who ran 3:05:39 in 2005. He won the race three times. Russian Olesya Nurgalieva ran the second fastest women’s time in 2008 when she crossed the finish line in 3:34:53.