MARATHONER, Tebello Ramakongoana, says he is happy to have come third in the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon last weekend.
Ramakongoana, who was making his debut in the race, clocked 2:10:24 behind Ethiopia’s Gebru Redagne (2:10:17).
South Africa’s Stephen Mokoka (2:10.01) came first for the second time since 2018.
And Ramakongoana says coming third is a huge achievement being his first 42km race. He has previously run 21km and 10km races.
The 2:10:24 race makes Ramakongoana Lesotho’s second fastest marathoner behind record holder, Motlokoa Nkhabutlane, who recorded 2:09:47 in the Paris Marathon in 2017.
Last weekend’s time also earned Ramakongoana a spot in the 2022 Commonwealth Games scheduled for Birmingham, England from 28 July to 8 August.
The Commonwealth Games marathon qualifying standard is 2:20:00.
Ramakongoana says the weekend result is testimony of his dedication and hardwork.
“I thank God for the win which is testimony for my hard work and dedication to win my first ever 42km race,” Ramakongoana says.
“Being my first race, I was nervous before the race but I was well prepared, mentally and physically fit. The time I recorded was my exact target and I am happy to have achieved that.”
Now that he has proven his capacity in the 42km race, he is now focusing on it although he will still continue running the 10km and 21km races.
“Although I will now be running the full marathon, I will continue running the 10km and 21km races because they a good for keeping me fit and practicing my speed.”
Ramakongoana is not yet sure when his next race will be. He is however, appealing to the government to immediately start financing athletes who are supposed to start preparing for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
“My dream is to make a podium finish in the Commonwealth Games, and that will only be achieved if the government starts helping us prepare now,” Ramakongoana says.