Three-time Comrades marathon winner Stephen Muzhingi has been presented with a chance to reclaim lost glory when he takes part in this year's Comrades marathon race in Pietermaritzburg this morning.
Muzhingi will join 67 other Zimbabweans who have successfully registered to take part in the Ultimate Human race.
This year's version of the race is a down run, starting from Pietermaritzburg to Durban.
Muzhingi, who won the race three consecutive times in 2009, 2010 and 2011, is expected to fly the country's flag high with other athletes like Mike Fokorani, Marko Mambo and Point Chaza itching to sneak into the top 10.
The competition will see over 18 000 athletes drawn from all over the world enduring the gruelling 89km race.
Muzhingi's manager Craig Fry spoke to our sister paper NewsDay and was optimistic the veteran runner would do well this year as he had enough time to prepare this time around and had no injury worries throughout the preparation stages.
"Stephen spent the last two months in Pietermaritzburg fine-tuning his preparations. These have been going on well. This year he has been injury-free and he is in an excellent shape," Fry said.
He added; "He is determined to do well not only for himself, but for his family, friends and the nation as a whole. He would want to bring the Comrades Marathon title back to Zimbabwe where it stayed for three years. But everyone knows that this is sport, full of surprises, anything can happen." Other Zimbabweans set to participate include Moses Njodzi, Bluff Meats, athlete Chaza, Peter Mamvura and Mambo.
In the ladies category, Monica Kativhu who has been in fine form will join veteran Samukeliso Moyo and Tabitha Tsatsa.
Last year's winner, Claude Moshiywa makes a return but faces stiff competition from his club mate, Ludwick Mamabolo, who wants to defend his down run title he won in 2012.
The Russian twins Elene and Olesya Nurgalieva are expected to dominate the women's race despite the poor form shown at the Two Oceans marathon in April.