Gongqa exorcises Rio ghost with Two Oceans triumph

Times Media


TELFORD VICE in Cape Town

LUNGILE Gongqa broke a drought that has endured for 44 years when he won the 2017 Two Oceans Ultra Marathon in Cape Town on Saturday.

That made Gongqua the first Capetonian to win the 56-kilometre race since Don Hartley in 1973.

The last South African champion was Kroonstad-born David Gatebe in 2013.

Gongqa finished in 03:09:43 with Warinyane Lebopo of Lesotho second in 03:10:21.

The pair were neck-and-neck for much of the last six kilometres before Gongqa pulled away to secure victory.

Gongqa and Lebopo were the sole survivors of a group of 10 runners who broke away from the pack after 42 kilometres.

Another Lesotho runner, Teboho Sello, was third with Zimbabwe’s Collen Makaza fourth and Melly Kennedy, a Kenyan, fifth.

Belarusian Maryna Damantsevich won the women’s race in 03:37:13.

Damantsevich hit the front early in the piece and was helped by Caroline Wöstmann’s withdrawal after 11 kilometres with a hamstring injury.

Wöstmann was bidding for a hat-trick of Two Oceans victories.

Lesotho’s Namakoe Nkhase won the men’s half-marathon in a race record time of 01:03:15.

Irvette van Zyl was the first woman in the half-marathon and 39th overall.

Of the total entries of 11 000 for the ultra-marathon, 4 005 were novices, 7 782 were men and 3 218 women.

In the half-marathon, which drew 16 000 entries, men numbered 7 426 and women 8 754.

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