Gerda Steyn. File photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency/ANA.

Cape Town - Three-time Comrades marathon winner Bongmusa Mthembu added the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon title to his list of achievements, in an exciting finish at the University of Cape Town grounds in Cape Town on Saturday morning.

Mthembu, the defending champion for this year's Comrades race,  crossed the finish line in 3 hours 8 minutes and 40 seconds, with 2013 race winner David Gatebe next best in 3:10.30. 

Kenyan Justin Cheshire ended third in 3:11.23.

Mthembu's bold bid for victory came as late as the final 1 kilometre of the 56km ultra distance event, as he held off the challenges of Frenchman Abraham Kiprotich, Gatebe and the ever-present Sinteyu Legese to take the honours. 

This makes up for the disappointment of last year's race where Mthembu had to settle for 5th place.

It was Kiprotich who did much of the hard work upfront during the first part of the race, as the front-runners seemed to be on course to challenge the record time of 3:03.44 set by the late Thompson Magawana back in 1988.

Gerda Steyn successfully defended her women's title in 3:31.29, followed home by Lesotho's Mamoroallo Tjoka (3:38.23) and Jenna Challenor (3:51.56). 

Elroy Galant took the men's half marathon title in 1:03.20 with the women's race gold medal going to Namibian Helaila Johannes (1:10.30

See below results

Men's marathon

1 Bongmusa Mthembu 03:08:40

2 David Gatebe  03:10:30

3 Justin Cheshire (Kenya) 03:11:23

4 Sintayehu Yinesu (Ethiopia) 03:12:34 

Women's marathon

1 Gerda Steyn 03:31:29

2 Mamorallo Tjoka (Lesotho) 03:38:23

3 Irvette van Zyl 03:41:32

4 Dominika Stelmach (Poland) 03:50:12 

The Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon is in its 50th year. 

African News Agency (ANA)