Nyasango's remarkable season

HARARE - Serial marathon champion Cuthbert Nyasango’s inspirational performance in 2012 safeguarded the Nyasango dynasty’s firm grip on long distance running in Zimbabwe.

The 30-year-old Cuthbert was in a league of his own both on the domestic and international front whilst his wife Faith and sister Constance achieved constant podium finishes.

But it was the Nyanga-born Cuthbert who grabbed the headlines for a startling year.

Cuthbert began 2012 with a bang by winning the Lisbon 21km race in March before winning the Madrid Half Marathon in the same month.

He continued to raise the Nyasango clan flag as he went on to win the Avila 21km race in April.

The long distance runner followed that up with qualification for the London 2012 Marathon with an ‘A’ standard time and together with Wirimai Zhuwawo the two put in good competition in London.

Cuthbert and Zhuwawo finished seventh and 15th respectively at the London Olympics.

Cuthbert’s performance found its way into the annals of Zimbabwe long distance history as this was the best ever finish attained by a Zimbabwean at the Olympics.

Tendai Chimusasa had held this record for over a decade following his outstanding performance at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, where he finished ninth.

On the domestic front, Cuthbert took part in the Dr Muzenda Gutu Half Marathon in November coming third in 65 minutes and 8 seconds.

He signed off the year by setting a new personal best time at the 66th edition of the Fukuoka International Marathon on December 2 where he finished ninth.

The Nyanga-born runner completed the race in a personal best time of 2 hours, 11 minutes and 48 seconds.
This time was better than the 2 hours, 12 minutes and 8 seconds he ran on his way to finishing seventh at the London Olympic Games.

Cuthbert believes dedication and commitment have been the hallmark of his respectable year.

“It was a good year,” he says. “My performance was better and I was outstanding. I think there are three things that helped me scale such heights.

“Firstly commitment, secondly I had an injury free year and thirdly the support I received from Zimbabwe, my family and my coach.”

Cuthbert urged corporate sponsors to partner athletes as there remains a lot of untapped talent in the country.

On his aspirations for 2013, Cuthbert said: “Well I just hope to have another injury free year and if that can happen I see myself setting national records.”

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