Athletics

Gerda Steyn flies SA flag at London Marathon

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Gerda Steyn. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Gerda Steyn. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Gerda Steyn led the way on Sunday, storming through the field to set an impressive personal best as she carried the SA flag at the London Marathon.

Steyn, better known as an ultra-distance specialist after winning last year's Comrades and Two Oceans races, took seventh place in wet conditions in the elite women's race.

She crossed the line in 2:26:51, taking 57 seconds off her 42.2km career best she had set at the 2019 New York Marathon.

The 30-year-old athlete was just 16 seconds outside the SA women's standard marathon record of 2:26:35, which was set by Colleen de Reuck at the 1996 Berlin Marathon.

Kenya's Brigid Kosgei delivered a solo performance to win the women's race convincingly in 2:18:58.

In the men's contest, Melikhaya Frans was the best of the small South African contingent, taking 21st place in a personal best 2:13:50.

Shura Kitata of Ethiopia secured victory in 2:05:41.

The annual London Marathon, postponed from its original April date, was held on a 19-lap course, with only elite athletes taking part.

The mass race was held as a virtual event due to restrictions caused the coronavirus pandemic.

- Athletics SA

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