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Unvaccinated runners allowed in the 2022 Comrades Marathon with SuperSport providing coverage for the first time in 46 years of race being broadcast

The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has revised its stance on the participation of unvaccinated athletes in the 2022 Comrades Marathon after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced changes to the Covid-19 restrictions. File Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency(ANA)

The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has revised its stance on the participation of unvaccinated athletes in the 2022 Comrades Marathon after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced changes to the Covid-19 restrictions. File Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Mar 24, 2022

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DURBAN - The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has revised its stance on the participation of unvaccinated athletes in the 2022 Comrades Marathon after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced changes to the Covid-19 restrictions.

CMA Chairperson Mqondisi Ngcobo advised that the association would allow unvaccinated runners to run the 2022 Comrades on condition that they provide proof of a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours of Comrades race day, at their own cost.

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The same rules will apply to all runners, volunteers and visitors to the three-day Comrades Expo, scheduled for race week (August 25-27, 2022).

Ngcobo also advised that the CMA will continue to comply with government regulations, applicable at all times, in order to safeguard the health and safety of runners, supporters, officials and the public at large. Should government regulations or Athletics South Africa guidelines change prior to race day, the CMA will likewise apply the regulations applicable at that time.

The CMA said part of the revised regulations means that runners will not be required to wear face masks when outdoors as well as adjusted social distancing directives.

Comrades international athletes are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours when entering the country, while all unvaccinated visitors to South Africa would be offered a vaccination on arrival, if they so wish.

The 95th Comrades Marathon will be a down run on Sunday, August 28, 2022. The race starts at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall at 5.30am and ends 12 hours later at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, covering a 90.2km distance. This will be the 47th down run in Comrades history.

On Tuesday, the CMA said that for the first time in 46 years of televised coverage, the Comrades Marathon would be aired on SuperSport.

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The marathon will take place on Sunday, August 28, 2022, after being cancelled for the past two years.

Athletics South Africa (ASA) made the announcement of the four-year partnership with SuperSport at a launch in Johannesburg recently.

According to the agreement reached, the Comrades Marathon broadcast will be available to SuperSport's continental subscriber base across all packages, ensuring inclusivity and widespread coverage.

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On race day, SuperSport will be live from 5am as the build-up to the Comrades start at 5.30am. There will be a continuous live broadcast right up until the 12-hour cut off takes place at the Moses Mabhida Stadium at 5.30pm, when the SuperSport team will wrap up the day’s action and go off air at 6pm, making it a 13-hour live production.

CMA race director Rowyn James said: “We are very pleased to confirm that the Comrades Marathon will enjoy 13 hours of live television coverage on Sunday, August 28, 2022. We are grateful to ASA for finalising this deal and ensuring that the Comrades Marathon and its sponsors get the requisite television airtime that the sport so greatly deserves.”

“SuperSport is known for its world-class production quality, and the CMA looks forward to the sports specific broadcaster delivering on that to further elevate the Comrades Marathon profile with a potentially new audience.”

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“As the CMA, we are thrilled to be able to host the race after a two-year hiatus. Together with the Comrades race organising committee and all stakeholders, we are planning an incredible day of ultra-road running for our athletes,” James concluded.

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