Johannesburg – Benedict Moeng comfortably won a pedestrian men's race, while Cornelia Joubert came out tops in a closely fought women's battle at the SA Marathon Championships in Oudtshoorn on Sunday.

Moeng crossed the line in an unimpressive time of two hours, 17 minutes, 32 seconds (2:17:32), easily holding off Lucky Mohale by more than two minutes.

Mohale finished second in 2:19:38 and defending champion Coolboy Ngamole, who stepped on the podium for the fourth year in succession, was third in 2:21:39.

Joubert, meanwhile, held off a strong challenge to secure the women's crown in 2:46:13, with the first four women dipping under two hours, 50 minutes.

Kim Laxton bagged the silver medal in 2:47:25 and Melanie van Rooyen clinched bronze in 2:48:35.

The championships were expected to play a significant role in team selection for the World Athletics Championships in Moscow, Russia, in August, but nobody managed to reach the relatively undemanding qualifying standards.

Moeng missed the men's qualifying mark of 2:17:00 by 32 seconds, and Joubert was more than three minutes outside the women's standard of 2:43:00. – Sapa