Annie Bothma races to Durban International Marathon win
Durban - Annie Botma ran the race of her life to win the Durban International Marathon this morning and finally become the South African marathon champion.
The Western Province athlete beat off a late challenge from Ethiopian Chaltu Bedo Nagashu to win by five seconds as she set a Personal Best time of 2:30:31 in the distance.It was only her third marathon but Bothma ran like a seasoned professional with the guts to rush into the lead from the onset.
Back in 2019 Bothma was the first South African hone at the Cape Town Marathon but could not be crowned national champion because she was not running foe her province.She was determined to make amends thus tine around and she did so in style.
"I am delighted that I am national champion," she said at the end, although she felt let down by the lack of proper fuelling with the organizers apparently not allowing the elites to have their supplies at the points they wanted them.
Defending Durban International Marathon champion Shelmith Nyawira Muriuki of Kenya came in at third place.n the national championships, last year's winner Jenet Mbhele finished second behind Bothma having run a persinal best time of 2:37:08.
Nontokozo Mkhize was third in 2:40:53.
The men's race was a much more one-sided affair with Tebello Ramakongoana cantering to victory literally unchallenged victory.The athlete from Lesotho narrowly missed out on his country's national record as he ran a 2:10:11
Third at the Soweto Marathon last year, Ramakongoana got into the lead at about the 25km mark and never gave it up as he ran solo all the way to the finish.That he failed to dip below the targeted 2:08:10 was because he started at a much faster pace, Ramakongoana apparently refusing to listen to pacer Mbuleli Mathanga who was insteucted to run at a 3:05 per kilometre pace and going at a blistering 2:55 instead.But he had opened such a sizeable gap he was never goibg to be overtaken.
Central Gauteng Athletic's Simon Sibeko finished second some ten seconds later to replace Tumelo Motlagale as the ASA national marathon champion. Motlagale of the North West finished fourth overall behind Kenya's Corneluus Yego.
But he was not disgraced as he took second spot in the National Championships.
KwaZulu-Natal's .Bonginkosi Mavuso completed the podium placings.
The feel good story of this wet Sunday morning in Duban, however, was that of Bothma becoming national champion.
posted Sunday March 12th