Local athlete made history in Germany

2016-04-14 06:00
Lusapho April (above) at the finishing line at the Hannover Marathon. He made history by becoming the first male athlete to win this marathon in Germany three times. Photos: RUNNERS WORLD and sport24

Lusapho April (above) at the finishing line at the Hannover Marathon. He made history by becoming the first male athlete to win this marathon in Germany three times. Photos: RUNNERS WORLD and sport24

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Lusapho April made history by becoming the first-ever male runner to win the German HAJ Hannover Marathon three times.

April (33), who was born and bred in Uitenhage, won the race in 2011 and 2013, and secured victory in 2:11:27 on Sunday, after breaking clear of a small lead group in the closing stages.

This long distance runner is now amongst a long list of South African men who have already achieved the qualifying standard of 2:19:00 for the 42km race at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August, but await the decision of ASA on who makes the final team.

Amongst other leading contenders are Stephen Mokoka (2:07:40), who has the option to race on the track after qualifying in the 5 000m and 10 000m events, Sibusiso Nzima (2:11:43), Lungile Gongqa (2:11:59) and Michael Mazibuko (2:12:29). The 2016 event featured a record entry of more than 21 000 runners.

“Congratulations to Lusapho April. We encourage him to remain focused in building up towards this athletics season. The performance of our runners is proving that South Africans are becoming a force to reckon with in 2016 as we build up to the Rio Games,” said ASA president Aleck Skhosana.

“We wish him and all other Olympic contenders well for the remainder of the season, as they represent our nation with pride on the global road running circuit.- SPORT24

. April competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London

. He set a national record in 25 km road running

(1:15:02) in 2010.

. April twice won the Two Oceans Half Marathon

. He set a course record at the 2013 Hannover Marathon & personal best time (2:08:32).

. He was the third-place finisher at the 2013 New York City Marathon.

. April finished the 2016 Hannover Marathon in Adidas shoes

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