LONG distance runner Collen Makaza finished fourth in the men’s race at the Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon in Cape Town, South Africa yesterday to continue his fine record in the world renowned 56km race.
BY SPORTS REPORTER
The 33-year-old Zimbabwean, who last year finished behind compatriot Mike Fokorani, crossed the finish line in 3 hours, 12 minutes, 17 seconds (03:12:17), just under three minutes after Lungile Gongqa, who became the first South African to win the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon since 2013.
Gongqa finished in 03:09:43, with Warinyane Lebopo of Lesotho second in 03:10:21.
The pair were neck-to-neck for much of the last 6km before Gongqa pulled away to secure victory.
Another Lesotho runner, Teboho Sello was third, with Makaza fourth and Melly Kennedy, a Kenyan, fifth.
Three-time Comrades Marathon champion Stephen Muzhingi, who won the Two Oceans in 2012, also put on a solid perfomance on his return from a long term injury after finishing eighth.
Muzhingi, who was using the race to prepare for this year’s Comrades Marathon, crossed the finish line in 3:15:47.
For Makaza, it was another near miss for the coveted title, having finished second in the last two editions of the same marathon in 2015 and 2016.
In the women’s race, Zimbabwean female long distance runner Tabitha Tsatsa crossed the finish line in eighth position in 4:04:14.
Belarusian Maryna Damantsevich won the women’s race in 03:37:13.
Lesotho’s Namakoe Nkhase won the men’s half-marathon in a race record time of 01:03:15.
South Africa’s Irvette van Zyl was the first woman in the half-marathon, with Zimbabwean Olympian Rutendo Nyahora and Rudo Monderwa finishing eighth and 10th respectively.
Of the total entries of 11 000 for the ultra-marathon, 4 005 were novices, 7 782 were men and 3 218 women.
In the half-marathon, which drew 16 000 entries, men numbered 7 426 and women 8 754.