Muzhingi finishes eighth

HARARE - Stephen Muzhingi finished as the highest placed Zimbabwean at the 90th edition of the Comrades Marathon run from the coastal city of Durban to Pietermaritzburg.

Earlier indications were that Zimbabwean-born Hatimande Nyamande, who finished third was the country’s best performer at the world’s oldest and largest ultra-marathon.

However, a closer perusal of his profile on the Comrades Marathon website shows that he is now running under a South African citizenship.

The Gutu born Muzhingi, with a time of 5:56:30 seconds finished some 18 minutes behind eventual winner Gift Kelehe of South Africa.

The next best placed Zimbabwean was Prodigal Khumalo, who finished in 13th place after clocking 6:01:43 while Lovemore Chabata was in 51st place with a time of 6:34:36.

Mike Fokoroni was in 58th place with a time of 6:37:16 while Marshall Mushaninga was in 64th place with a time of 6:40:11.

Gift Kelehe of South Africa won the men’s race when the crossed the finish line in a time of 5:38:36.

It wasn’t the race record everybody was hoping for, but Kelehe made history of his own by winning 14 years after his older brother Andrew Kelehe won the down run in 2001.

For his efforts, Kelehe collected R375 000 for the win after coming third in the race last year.

Kelehe works as a policeman in Rustenburg, and because of his hours he has to find time to train.

“I have to be at work at 07:30 so sometimes I am up and training at 04:00,” he said.

“I started my training for this race in November last year; I have put in a lot of work. My coach told me to relax and just run my race, because I have done the work.”

Mohammed Husien of Ethiopia took second as he jogged way over the line in 5:46.14 ahead of Nyamande.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s Caroline Wostmann from Pretoria was the first woman to cross the finish line.

This year’s Two Oceans Marathon champion on Sunday became the first South African winner since Rae Bisschoff in 1998.

“It’s an incredible feeling, it’s absolutely amazing.There was a bit of pressure. Two Oceans was almost an accident, but Comrades was the one I wanted to win so, so badly,” Wostmann said after the race.

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