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Gongqa, Damantsevich claim Two Oceans titles

Athletics

Lungile Gongqa claimed victory in the Two Oceans ultra-marathon in a time of 3 hours 9 minutes 43 seconds in Cape Town on Saturday.

The Lesotho pair of Warinyane Lebopo of Lesotho was second in 3:10:21 and Teboho Sello was third in 3:11:48.

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The elation is clear to see on Lungile Gongqa’s face as he claims his maiden Two Oceans Marathon title at the UCT Sports Fields on Saturday. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky, BackpagePixMaryna Damantsevich smiles in triumph as she crosses the finish line to clinch the Two Oceans Marathon title. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky, BackpagePix

It was a satisfying win for Capetonian Gongqa, 38, in just his second attempt, having finished 29th on debut in the race in 2012.

Just after the halfway mark, there was a massive group of leading contenders, and only in the final few kilometres did Gongqa begin moving away.

He was briefly joined by Lebopo, but as the runners passed the 52km mark, it was Gongqa who began surging ahead.

Coming into the finish at the UCT Sports Fields, Gongqa opened up a comfortable gap to take the win by over half a minute in 3:09.43.

In the women’s ultra-marathon event, Belarusian Maryna Damantsevich obliterated the field to take victory in a time of 3 hours 37 minutes 13 seconds (3:37.13).

South Africa’s Jenna Challenor was a distant second, over 10 minutes behind in 3:47:32. Third was South Africa’s Tanith Maxwell in 3:55:42.

Damantsevich set the pace from the early stages of the race and already held a commanding lead at the 21km mark.

With two-time defending champion Caroline Wöstmann pulling out of the event at the 11km mark with a hamstring injury, it left the race wide open.

The competition, however, mattered little to Damantsevich as she maintained her fast pace throughout the race.

Such was her dominance that the title was effectively decided with 15km to go as her lead approached 10 minutes.

In the men’s half-marathon race, Namakoe Nkhasi of Lesotho was first to cross the line in 63:15, with compatriot Khoarahlane Seutloali second in 63:45 and South Africa’s David Manja completing the podium in 64:19.

In the women’s half-marathon, South Africa made a clean sweep of the podium. First was Irvette van Zyl in 73:53, Nolene Conrad claimed second in 74:27 and Louisa Leballo took third in 75:00.

African News Agency (ANA)
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