Ramakongoana shines in eThekwini marathon

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Leemisa Thuseho

MARATHONER, Tebello Ramakongoana, was on Sunday crowned champion in the eThekwini Best of Best Marathon 21km category.

The race was held at Kings Park Athletics Stadium.

Ramakongoana clocked 1:03:48 ahead of South African, Anele Dlamini (1:06:05).

Another South African, Sphamandla Nkosi, finished third clocking 1:06:15.

Ramakongoana told the Lesotho Times this week that he was happy with the results although his target was to be at least four minutes faster than his Sunday time.

“That was not a bad result although my target was to record less than 63 minutes,” Ramakongoana said.

“I wanted to start the new season with a new personal best in 21km but after discovering that the course was not flat, I told myself that if ever I fail to break my current personal best (1:03:21), I shouldn’t run above 63 minutes.”

Last year, he had a fruitful season qualifying for the 2022 Commonwealth Games to be held in Birmingham, England from 28 July to 8 August.

This after an impressive performance in the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon last October. In that race, he finished third clocking 2:10:24.

Having also started this year on a high note, he is hoping for another blessed year.

“I started well, and I think in the future races I will perform well. From here I will be preparing for the Two Oceans Marathon in April,” he said.

In the ladies’ 21km category, Lesotho’s Blandina Makatisi and Mathakane Letsie finished second and third respectively. Makatisi completed the race in 1:19:51 while Letsie recorded 1:21:24. South African, Nontokozo Mkhize, won the race two minutes and 10 seconds later.

The race also saw Lesotho’s Motlokoa Nkhabutlane coming second position in the 42km race clocking 2:18:19, just two minutes behind the winner, Nkosikhona Mhlakwana (2:16:37).

Nkhabutlane, who was also marking the beginning of his season last weekend, said he had a chance to win the race had it not been for the cramp he suffered during the competition.

“I had a good race and had it not been for the cramp that I suffered, I could have done better.

“From the beginning, I was neck to neck with the winner but he to take the lead once I suffered the cramp at about 30km and that was just 12 minutes before the finishing line.

“However, I hung on until I finished, and I think it was a good start to the season,” Nkhabutlane said.

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