New names grace the podium

2008-07-08 00:00

TWANDA Tokisi of Mr Price became the inaugural winner of the new Queensburgh 10 km race held over a single lap in the Durban suburb on Sunday.

With the province’s leading athletes focusing on Saturday’s Nedbank South African Half-marathon Championships in Motherwell, the door was open for new names to grace the podium in the event, which replaces the hilly double-lap Mineshaft race.

Although considerably flatter than the previous half-marathon, there were enough undulations in the route to restrict Tokisi’s winning time to a meagre second over the 32-minute barrier, which put him well clear of second-placed Shingie Badza of the Boxer club.

Hlabisa’s leading athlete, Sipho Ngxongo, finished a disappointing third in 33 minutes and 54 seconds. The youngster seems driven to race at every opportunity and in recent months his performance has dropped from his true potential.

The Boxer club also took honours in the 35 to 39 and 50 to 59 age categories, which were won by Geoffrey Koki and Jeremiah Ngwenya, respectively.

Koki, who spent much of the early season competing in the 40-49 category, is now confirmed to be a legal 35-39 athlete, but there has been no official word as to what actions will be taken over the prize money he earned when allegedly incorrectly claiming to be a 40-year-old.

Iris Ndlovu took the top step of the podium in the women’s race with a 500 metres domination over second-placed Janine Engels of PDAC. The Boxer athlete took line honours in 41 minutes and 41 seconds, while Chatsworth junior Bongekile Hlongwane secured third in 44 minutes and six seconds.

Engels’s performance also gave her the prize for first in the 40-49 category, while Maria Mthembu led the 35-39s, and Lien Botha once again headed the 60-plus category.

It was a surprise that Botha, who was third in the previous day’s Half-Marathon Championships in Port Elizabeth, chose to race the following day and one must call into question the wisdom of the province paying for athletes to attend championships when they are clearly not fully focused on giving their all in the national event.

This becomes an even more urgent consideration when one realises that the incentives given to national championship medalists are a trivial R300, R200 and R100 for gold silver and bronze, respectively. By concentrating funding on those athletes committed to full-out effort that would prevent them from racing the following day, it would be possible to give a more realistic incentive to those who honour the province.

Queensburgh 10 km

Men

Open: 1. Twanda Tokisi, Mr P, 32:01, 2. Shingie Badza, Boxer, 33:31, 3. Sipho Ngxongo, Hlabisa, 33:54

35-39: Godfrey Koki, Boxer, 34:54

40-49: Mandla Dlamika, Ned, 37:45,

50-59: Jerimiah Ngwenya, Boxer, 40:01

60+: Des Rountree, Toti, 45:10

Junior: Leonidia Rodrigues, Mr P, 43:28

Walker: Nhlanhla Khanyile, RWFL, 32:40

Team: Ubunye

Women

Open: 1. Iris Ndlovu, Boxer, 41:41, 2. Janine Engels, PDAC, 43:28, 3. Bongekile Hlongwane, Chatsworth, 44:06

35-39: Maria Mthembu, Boxer, 45:41

40-49: Janine Engels, PDAC, 43:28

50-59: Clare Mangan, Glen, 51:33

60+: Lien Botha, Toti, 48:44

Junior: Bongekile Hlongwane, Chats, 44:06

Team: Boxer

Walker: Phillipa Chidiniza, Boxer, 66:24

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