Many records tumble at FNB Cape Town 12 OneRun

2017-05-23 06:01

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Kenya’s 22-year-old Morris Gachaga may be softly spoken, but there is nothing wrong with his legs – and did they do some serious talking at the FNB Cape Town 12 OneRun on Sunday.

The diminutive runner smashed the previous world best on a point to point course by four seconds. Gachaga crossed the line in 33:27 eclipsing the 33:31 of Sammy Kitwara run at the Bay to Breakers in May 2009.

Over 13 000 runners lined the start at Woodbridge Island in near perfect weather conditions. Once the gun went, the early pace was set by the ever front running Lucky Mohale but he was soon pulled back by Elroy Gelant, before David Manja surged to the front to pull a lead group including Gelant, Namakoe Nkasi, Mohale and Gachaga. It was in fact the Kenyan who started the serious surging to take the bunch through 4km in 11:05. Pre-race favourite and defending Champion, Stephen Mokoka fell off the pace very early on and was never in contention from there. Just passed the halfway mark and Gachaga surged again, gesturing for Gelant to go with him and take up the pace, but Gelant declined which meant that Gachaga and Namakoe Nkasi started to pull away. Just before the athletes entered the Company Gardens after 9km, Gachaga surged again and took total control of the race. The solitary figure of Gachaga entered Bree Street for the final 800m, bursting into a sprint to cross the finish line in 33:27 to smash the previous World Best. Nkasi finished second (33:43) with Gelant having to settle for third for the second year in a row (33:54). “I expected a tougher race from (Stephen) Mokoka, (Elroy) Gelant and Namakoe (Nkasi), but when they did not go with me after halfway I attacked. At 9km I knew the race was mine so I pushed the pace. Breaking the World Best was a bonus.”

Tish Jones was the surprise winner in the women’s race after taking control within the first 3km and never looked back. Jones crossed the line in 39:50 ahead of a fast finishing Nolene Conrad (41:08), with Maria Shai rounding out the top three (41:14).

“My legs were strong after having trained for London Marathon (she finished 18th),” says Jones. “I really didn’t expect to win here, but the ladies just never went with me and I concentrated on maintaining my pace. I’m surprised, but really happy.”

Results:

Elite men:

Morris Gachaga 00:33:27, Namakoe Nkasi 00:33:43, Elroy Gelant 00:33:54, Gladwin Mzazi 00:34:10, David Manja 00:34:10, Stephen Makoka 00:34:43, Joel Mmone 00:34:56, Lucky Mohale 00:35:14, Sibusiso Nzima 00:35:38, Mbongeni Ngcazozo 00:35:47

Elite women:

Tish Jones 00:39:50, Nolene Conrad 00:41:08, Maria Shai 00:41:14, Lebogang Phalula 00:41:20, Rutendo Nyahora 00:41:24, Mapasoka Makhanya 00:41:52, Cornelia Joubert 00:42:03, Zintle Xiniwe 00:42.25, Glenrose Xaba 00:42:33, Christine Kalmer 00:43:09

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