Bosiu surprise winner of the Soweto Marathon

2009-11-02 00:00

TSHIDISO Bosiu surprised a quality field to win the 18th Nedbank Soweto Marathon in an impressive 2 hours 18 minutes 10 seconds yesterday, to be the first South African winner of the country’s biggest marathon since 2001.

The 27-year-old from Rosettenville was the main driver of a trio that opened a 100 m gap over the large chasing pack shortly after 7 km. Over 20 runners, including the main pre-race contenders, hung back in the pack, in the mistaken belief that Bosiu’s early 2:12 marathon pace had suicide written all over it.

Passing halfway in 67min, Bosui and Nkopano Seqhobane still had 2min over the pack when they commenced the 14 km-long climb from Freedom Square to the finish.

2006 and 2007 winner and pre-race favourite Mabothile Lebopo, and Tsotange Maine, the 2005 winner, made their bid for glory with 10 km to go, but it was too little too late, as Bosiu overcame the steep heartbreak hill of Marthinus Smuts to maintain his rhythm for the final 3 km to the finish and claim the R100 000 prize money.

Despite his late charge, Lebopo was still 300 m adrift at the line, which he crossed in 2:19:19. Maine was a further 120m behind.

“I had trained for a 21 km, but felt fresh at halfway and just kept going,” said Bosiu, who only took up running in 2007. “I had only done one run over two hours. This was unexpected. I’m very happy.”

Running in her debut marathon, Rene Kalmer was relatively unchallenged as she cruised from the gun to tape to record 2:44:06 for one of the hardest marathon courses in the country.

The 28-year-old track athlete, who only last year was running 1500 m in 4 minutes 6 seconds in the Beijing Olympics, took over a minute and a half from the previous course best set by Gwen van Lingen in 2001.

Soweto’s home city favourite, the diminutive Poppy Mlambo, had also left her charge too late, but had the consolation of also dipping under the previous best time, earning her an additional R6 000 bonus to the R80 000 second-place prize.

Four-time defending champion Mammoralla Tjoka was third in 2:53:13. Tjoka (Lesotho) and Samukeliso Moyo, the Zimbabwean registered with Mr Price in KZN, were the only two foreign athletes to make the top 10 in the women’s race.

Boxer’s Eloi de Oliveira was the only other KZN athlete to make the top placings in the marathon, finishing second to Samuel Mogudi in the 50 to 59 category. De Oliveira’s time was 2:49:57, just under three minutes off the pace.

Grace de Oliveira replicated Eloi’s run in the 40-49 age group of the women’s10km race, which was won by Lebo-Dianah Phalula in 34:08.

Men: 1 Tshidiso Bosiu GTN Striders 2:18:10, 2 Mabothile Lebopo LES 2:19:10, 3 Tsotang Maine GTN Striders 2:19:49, 4 Zolani Ntongana MrP WP 2:20:26, 5 Moeketsi Musuhli MrP CGA 2:21:09

Women: 1 Rene Kalmer MrP 2:44:06, 2 Poppy Mlambo Ned 2:45:28, 3 Mammorallo Tjoka GTN Striders 2:53:13, 4 Charne Bosman MrP 2:55:47, 5 Dimakatso Menong IND 2:59:24

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