MEC praises KZN’s Mthembu for Comrades achievement

2018-06-12 12:43
KZN MEC for Sport Bongi Sithole-Moloi (right) has hailed local hero Bongmusa Mthembu following his third Comrades Marathon win on Sunday.

KZN MEC for Sport Bongi Sithole-Moloi (right) has hailed local hero Bongmusa Mthembu following his third Comrades Marathon win on Sunday. (Supplied)

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Three-time Comrades Marathon winner Bongmusa Mthembu does not seek the spotlight, but his recent dominance in the marathon has earned him praise from KZN MEC for Sport Bongi Sithole-Moloi, and deservedly so.

On Sunday, the 35-year-old runner from Bulwer defied all the odds to become the first man to step into the landmark Moses Mabhida Stadium in a time of 5:26:33 — his third victory since 2014.

Running in Arthur Ford Club colours, Mthembu also became the first South African to win the world famous event back-to-back since Bruce Fordyce in 1988. But that feat has been achieved before in the women’s race by the legendary Frith van der Merwe in 1988 and 1989.

Read:  Victor Bongmusa makes his family — and KZN — proud again

Mthembu received R45 000 from the department for becoming the first man to finish the 90,184-km route and Sithole-Moloi could not be prouder.

“I wish to congratulate Mthembu for this win. He has made us proud and has once again demonstrated that our province is rich with talent.”

Like Mthembu, the first KZN women’s finisher, Fikile Mbuthuma who hails from Harding, also pocketed R45 000 and despite not making the top 10, she remained proud of her efforts. “I’m happy. I was doing it for my late mother and sister who has been suffering with a kidney problem,’’ she said.

This year’s Down Run had 23 389 entries with 21 212 of them qualifying to run, of whom 19 058 finished the race.

The event was the second largest field after the millennium race in 2000.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  comrades marathon

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