Mugomeni wins Old Mutual Half Marathon

HARARE - Jacob Mugomeni on Sunday outwitted an illustrious cast of long distance runners to cross the finish-line first in the Old Mutual Westgate Half Marathon, hours after he slept on the bus to cut accommodation costs.

The 22-year-old Kadoma-based athlete shook off the unorthodox sleeping arrangements to claim the $3 000 winner’s purse with a time of 1:03:13, some 13 seconds ahead of the Zimbabwe Republic Plice’s Elijah Mabhunu.

Lewis Masunda closed in on third, a further 12 seconds adrift.

Former Olympian Cuthbert Nyasango was way down the perking order finishing in eighth place, over two minutes behind the winner.

"This was actually my personal best time,” said Mugomeni.

“I’m happy with the way I ran the race. I was consistent over the first seven kilometres but it was at the 18 kilometre peg that I knew that my victory was certain.

“I knew it was always going to be a tough race. It’s something I wasn’t expecting given of some of the big names that had entered this race.

“But of my recent performances where I won the Tanganda 10km road, came second in the Victoria Falls half marathon and came third in Kariba half marathon gave me confidence that I could do it.”

Top female long distance runner Rutendo Nyahora scooped the women’s category of the half marathon as well as the $3 000 cash prize after finishing in 1:13:35.

ZRP’s Olivia Chitate was in second place, just under two minutes behind Nyahora.

Chitate pocketed $1 500.

Constance Nyasango, who finished third with a time of 1:15:48 walked home $1 000 richer.

Leading wheelchair athlete Elford Moyo was in imperious form in 21km category finishing first in 1:05:00 to take home $1200 prize money.

Thandiwe Ndlovu received the same reward for winning the women’s section of the wheelchair half marathon category in 1:41:37.

Kuwadzana High School’s Tendai Zimuto, who had registered in the secondary school division, was a cut above the rest as he was the first athlete to finish the 10km category in 30:27:18.

Rudo Mhonderwa of Furamera High School won the girls’ secondary school division in a time of 38:54:16 whilst ZRP’s Melody Kaseke won the Open section in 37:51:10.

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