South Africa: Mpofu, Ncube Finish in Top 10 in Cape Town Marathon

18 October 2021

ZIMBABWE'S Isaac Mpofu and Ngonidzashe Ncube left a mark at the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon when they finished in the top 10 in South Africa yesterday.

Mpofu was the first Zimbabwean to cross the finish line in 2 hours 11 minutes 41 seconds to finish in seventh place.

However, the disappointing part was missing the qualifying time for the World Championships, which is 2 hours 11 minutes 30 seconds.

His training counterpart Ncube finished on position 10 in 2 hours 12 minutes 49 seconds.

Stephen Mokoka of South Africa won the race in 2 hours 10 minutes 1 second.

Ethiopian Gebru Redahgne finished second in 2 hours 10 minutes 17 seconds, followed by Lesotho's Tebello Ramakongoana in third place in 2 hours 10 minutes 24 seconds.

Coach Collen Makaza, who travelled with a number of athletes from his club Mr Pace, commended Mpofu and Ncube.

Mpofu and Ncube are not members of Mr Pace Club.

"For Ngoni and Isaac, they have a future. If they get training and proper preparations for these races, I think we can get a qualification. The challenge may be financial challenges.

"I hope they can make it for the 2022 World Championships and also hoping for them to be included for the Olympic Solidarity Fund from the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee to support them (for the 2024 Olympics) because they are very close, just missing with some seconds to qualify.

"This is good for Zimbabwe because making top 10 in this race is not easy," said Makaza.

Other Zimbabwean athletes could not make the top 10 with Givemore Mudzinganyama coming 15th in 2 hours 14 minutes 11 seconds.

Winfred Mutiro was on position 27 in 2 hours 17 minutes 26 seconds while Munyaradzi Jari was position 35 in 2 hours 21 minutes 7 seconds and Jonathan Chinyoka clocked 2 hours 22 minutes 1 second to finish on position 41.

Canicious Wenjere and Wellington Varevi did not finish the race.

Zimbabwe's representatives in the women's category Ethel Sibanda came 17th in 2 hours 51 minutes 5 seconds and Tryfina Picardo finished on position 44 in 3 hours 12 minutes 41 seconds.

"It was a tough race. I can say the weather was another obstacle. The weather was bad, it was windy and raining from the start to the finish, so it was a bit slippery.

"It was good for us to have a feel of competition in a competitive race, to get the athletes focused. Now we are going back to drawing board.

"But also I was disappointed no one qualified for the World Championships on next year," said Makaza.

The women's category was won by Kenya's Lydia Naliaka Simiyu in 2hours 25minutes 44 seconds. Compatriot Lucy Karimi was second in 2 hours 25 minutes 56 seconds.

Ethiopia's Aynalem Teferi was third in 2 hours 26 minutes 12 seconds.

In the 46km Sanlam Cape Town Trail marathon, Zimbabwean runner Collin Kanyimo came third in 4 hours 35 minutes 31 seconds.

South Africa's Johardt Van Heerden came first in 4 hours 17 minutes 22 seconds and Kane Reilly was second in 4 hours 20 minutes 43 seconds.

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