Coolboy Ngamole cruises to Olympic qualifying as KZN athletes battle effects of 14-hour bus ride

2012-02-08 00:00

ALTHOUGH slower than his time in the Valencia marathon in November, Coolboy recorded his second Olympic qualifying mark and his second SA marathon championship title in George at the weekend, crossing the line in 2:13:18.

Ngamole ran away from the field towards the end of the first of three laps, and although he never looked in danger, he slowed from his planned sub 2:10 pace that would have assured him of an Olympic place.

There are now six runners who have met the Olympic standard in the required time period, with Michael Mazibuko’s second place in 2:15:12 the most recent addition.

Only eight of the women ran under three hours, raising the question as to what the KZN runners could have achieved had the KZN president not handicapped the team with a 3 200 km bus ride. That resulted in 14 of the province’s team withdrawing and those who did go failed to achieve their expected performance level. For the first time in years not one KZN athlete featured in the awards either in the open or age group categories.

Bongumusa Mthembu was the best of the provincial athletes, finishing 22nd in 2:24:09, while Collegians Harriers’ Vicky Crookes led the KZN women home in 115th overall, with Nonsikelelo Mbambo of the Carbineers crossing the line four places later in 3:31:41. Richard Dlamini arguably put up the best performance with his 2:28:18, the first time he has broken 2:30 as a 40-49 age group runner.

Bluff Meat Formula One athletes dominate the Sparkport challenge 32 km, with Robson Chigara securing a win by a massive five-minute margin over his club-mate Peter Navura. Chigara crossed the finish line in 1:50:56. In a day that saw complaints about marshalling and incorrect directions, particularly for the 32 km runners, Tanith Maxwell led the women home in an excellent 1:56:06, which would have placed her third on time, but was recognised as being on a shorter course. She was fourth prior to the marshalling error.

Maxwell’s closest competition came from Maya Lawrie, who crossed the line in 2:22:22.

The Pietermaritzburg women completely overwhelmed the visitors from Highway clubs in the annual New Balance Time Trial that started on Thursday. Suzette Botha, who has new-found strength since altering her running style, left the large field in her wake, taking the 4,65km circuit in 16 minutes 16 seconds, and was 600 metres clear of Hilton Harriers’ Erica Walker.

In all eight of the city’s runners finished before the first Highway woman, Anna Ngobese of Chiltern, arrived home in 20 minutes and 36 seconds.

The total time for the PMB top 10 was three hours 13 minutes 45 seconds, compared with three hours 48 minutes and seven seconds for the Highway squad.

On the track the youth, junior and seniors have the fifth league meeting at King’s Park on Saturday and it follows the standard programme.

The only road race is the Nosa Hillcrest Marathon, which starts at 5 am. Details at 074 074 9991.

Runners are reminded that the closing date for Old Mutual Battlefields 5-in-1 marathon is February 18. Phone Andre Grundlingh at 083 653 2865 for details.

Entries for the Weekend Witness Maritzburg Marathon close this week. Online entries and full details are available at

This is a particularly special year for the marathon, with the official AIMS marathon flame being flown out from Athens for the event.

This is both a Comrades and Old Mutual Two Oceans qualifier and the official charities of the event are the Pink Drive, MBTM and Community Chest. More race details from John Hall at 076 164 9554.


SA Marathon Championships George

Men: 1 Coolboy Ngamole (ACNW IND) 2:13:18; 2 Michael Mazibuko (AFS) 2:15:12; 3 Zolani Ntongana (WPA) 2:16:50.

Women: 1 Charne Bosman (AGN) 2:41:56, 2 Mpho Mabuza (CGA) 2:43:29, 3 Gladys Lukhwareni (AGN) 2:48:25.


Sparkport Challenge 32Km

Men: 1 Robson Chigara (Form One AC) 1:50:56; 2 Peter Navura (Form One AC) 1:56:05; 3 Senzo Miya (Ind) 1:59:02.

Women: 1 Tanith Maxwell (Boxer AC) 1:56:06; 2 Maya Lawrie (Boxer AC) 2:22:22; 3 Debbie Parry (Boxer AC) 2:23:24.


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