Victory golden

2015-09-09 06:00
CHAMPION: Matsebetsebe Joseph Ntombela preparing for the 2015 Mandela Day Marathon.          

Tladi Moloi

CHAMPION: Matsebetsebe Joseph Ntombela preparing for the 2015 Mandela Day Marathon. Photo: Tladi Moloi

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BOHLOKONG. – Matsebetsebe Joseph Ntombela is the champion in the wheelchair division of the 2015 Mandela Day Marathon.

Ntombela, who hails from Bohlokong near Bethlehem, came home with a gold medal and a cash prize after finishing the 10 km race in 25 minutes.

The event was held in Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday, 29 August.

Ntombela said he believed in his heart that he was going to win the race. He said the preparation for the race was very tough.

“I am motivated. This was my first medal and it shows that I am on the right track,” Ntombela said.

The champion started racing in 2008 and since then he has competed in a number of contests.

This, however, was the first time he had won.

The closest he came to winning was when he finished second in the Soweto Marathon in 2008 and since then he never looked back.

“Dedication and commitment are the secret behind my success. I never underestimate myself – I have always been positive regardless of the ups and downs of life.

“The race was never easy, but I knew that the competition would not be a walk in the park.

“It was the first time in my racing career I finished 10 km within that short time. That tells you something was pushing me from behind.

“I will make sure I work harder to win more gold medals. I now know how it feels to be a champion and I will always fight for it.”

Ntombela said he would like to thank Tjheta Mofokeng, a brother of Tjhetane Mofokeng, the executive mayor of the Dihlabeng Local Municipality, who paid for the transport to KwaZulu-Natal.

“I wish more people would learn from him and help us (the group of athletes) with anything that they can assist with.”

Ntombela travelled to the competition with four other wheelchair athletes and he said he would love to take part with them in all the races

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