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Marathon to apply for silver status

Johannesburg – Organisers of the relaunched Cape Town Marathon will apply for global status this season after securing a major sponsor, the race spokesman said on Wednesday.

Already offering lucrative prize money, in an attempt to attract elite international and local athletes to the 42.2km race in September, former distance runner Elana Meyer said Sanlam’s sponsorship would enable the organisers to meet the criteria laid out by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for Silver Label status.

Elana Meyer with Zola Budd at the 2014 Comrades finish line. Meyer believes Sanlam's sponsorship will enable the Cape Town Marathon to meet all the criteria for silver status. Credit: Gallo Images

Meyer, a member of the event’s executive committee, was confident it would become the first standard marathon in Africa to be included in the global body’s road running calendar.

She said the long-term goal was to secure a place in the top-flight World Marathon Majors (WMM) series.

“We offer contestants the largest sum of prize money for a South African standard marathon, with cash prizes exceeding R1.6-million,” Meyer said in a statement.

“This is in line with international city marathon benchmarks and a requirement to be considered for the WMM and IAAF membership.”

Meyer, a former world record holder on the road and Olympic silver medallist on the track, confirmed the Cape Town race had received support from the IAAF, which would have a presence at the event.

The organisers confirmed the sponsors had signed a three-year deal for naming rights to the race.

“We take pride in creating an opportunity for international athletes to compete in a global event on the continent, in particular African athletes,” said Yegs Ramiah, chief executive of the financial services group. – Sapa

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