Ann Ashworth is all smiles after winning the Comrades Marathon on Sunday. Photo: @ComradesRace via Twitter

Ann Ashworth brushed last year's disappointment aside to claim the 2018 Comrades Marathon women's title on Sunday.

Ashworth ran a composed race taking the lead for the first time with 41 kilometres to go winning with a tie of 6:10.04. She withdrew a kilometre into last year’s race after a fall at the start. 

It was a one-two finish for South Africa with pre-race favourite Gerda Steyn entering the Moses Mabhida Stadium in second place with 6:15.34.

Russian athlete and 2017 runner-up Alexandra Morozova finished third in 6:20.21.

The lead changed three times with Russian Nina Zarina making an early break before pre-race favourites Steyn, Ashworth, Charne Bosman overtook her. 

Steyn held the lead for a brief period but once Ashworth got her nose in front she opened some daylight. 

Two Oceans champion Steyn tussled with Morozova for a major part of the race as they tried to reel in Ashworth. 

Capitalising on the downhills Morozova closed in on Ashworth as they entered Pinetown with Steyn falling behind. 

Morozova managed to get a slender lead but Cowies Hill proved to be the equaliser with Ashworth taking control on the relentless climb.

IOL Sport

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