Comrades champ fit to go

2018-06-08 16:26
Defending Comrades Marathon champion Bongmusa Mthembu.

Defending Comrades Marathon champion Bongmusa Mthembu. (Supplied)

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Local hero and defending champion Bongmusa Mthembu is refreshed and ready to add his third Comrades Marathon win this Sunday, his club has confirmed.

This follows fears that the Pietermaritzburg resident might have to miss this 93rd edition of the “Ultimate Human Race” after reportedly falling ill during his training camp in Lesotho last week.

Read: Fears over Mthembu’s fitness for race

Speaking to The Witness on Thursday, Arthur Ford Running Club manager Xolani Mabhida confirmed the two-time winner’s availability.

“Bongmusa is fine and he will be able to run the race.

“We’ve seen the report [of his non-availablity] and have tried to protect him by not telling him because it could disturb and derail our plans.

“If anything, it would be something that occurred prior to the race, but we can confirm that he is fit and ready,” said Mabhida.

Mabhida said he would make certain that the hard-working 34-year-old professional runner from Bulwer is not affected by the rumours, saying there was no need for his supporters to panic as he will be among the thousands at the start in Pietermaritzburg.

“We are obviously expecting Bongmusa to defend as the reigning champion, but as with any other athlete, the nerves are there. We will support him and make sure he gets a good result on Sunday.

“I will be there on the route with him and other athletes and we have people who will be helping us on the day. So, we urge people to continue supporting the team.”

The association’s race director Rowyn James said: “All is ready and even though the women’s field has been disseminated by injuries we still have some key names such as Charne Bosman, who is the defending down-run champion and is back to defend her title.

“There is also Bongmusa Mthembu on the men’s side, David Gatebe who is the defending down-run champion and the record holder, Gift Kelehe, and Ludwick Mamabolo.”

On the event, James said everything was in place.

“We wish everybody the best of luck and thank you to everyone who entered.”

The 90,184-kilometre distance will start outside the city hall and end some 12 hours later at the landmark Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

James advised motorists to expect delays due to temporary road closures along the route.

Details of the road closures can be found at www.comrades.com.


Read more on:    comrades marathon  |  pietermaritzburg  |  bongmusa mthembu

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