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Comrades champ, son to carry SA flag for Boks

Springboks
DURBAN – There is nothing more important to Comrades Marathon winner Bongmusa Mthembu than his son, Sisanda.

Sisanda, 12, captured the hearts of the nation when he was pictured cheering his father on as Mthembu crossed the Pietermaritzburg finish line in first position at the marathon two weeks ago.

Father and son will carry the South African flag on to the field ahead of the Springbok team at today’s Test against France at Kings Park (5pm kickoff).

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Bongmusa Mthembu is excited about carrying the SA flag at the Springbok Test today. Photo: BackpagePix

Spotted practising at the stadium with Sisanda yesterday, Mthembu choked with emotion when asked how he felt about being the country’s flag-bearer along with his son.

“We come from Bulwer. Sisanda has never even seen a stadium like this, let alone when it is going to be filled with people and cheering. It is going to be an amazing experience for him, and one we will never forget.

“I never thought I would be doing this, to be able to hold the flag for my country next to my son is so awesome,” said Mthembu.

Sisanda, Mthembu’s only child, stood proudly next to his dad. They obviously have a close bond as he reached for his father's hand ahead of their practice run on the field.

“I feel very excited and scared,” Sisanda said.

Mthembu, having just achieved his second win in the Comrades Marathon (he also won in 2014), is taking a well-deserved break and looks forward to being with his family on Father’s Day tomorrow.

“In our society there are so many young ones without a father, I have always tried hard to be there for Sisanda. Whenever I am training or in a camp, it’s always about him, I was so blessed to get him. I think the most important lesson a father can teach his son is to always be respectful, whether it’s to a young one or old one.

“I want him to be focused on school and for him to be well-educated, more educated than me,” he said.

Mthembu has been a professional athlete for 10 years and one of the country’s top marathon runners. After his post-Comrades break, he will start training for next year’s marathon.

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