Lungile Gongqa has targeted victory at the Cape Town Marathon. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG - Three years ago Lungile Gongqa ran his best Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, finishing in second place behind the Kenyan, Shadrack Kemboi. Now, come September, Gongqa would love to finish first in the Cape’s beautiful race. 

“I will be there, I am going there. I would like to finish in a better position than that of 2015. I know that I need to run 2:11 to better that,” he said.

Failing to catch Kemboi, who beat him by a few seconds, may haunt Gongqa for the rest of his career. “It was sad to miss it by a few seconds. It is still fresh in my memory. I should have done better than that,” said Gongqa. Gongqa finished in 17th position last year as he struggled to keep up with the pace of the East African runners.

“It was not that bad. Remember I was not just competing against South Africans, but also other top athletes from Africa,” he said. “Most of the South African athletes can not cope with the heat of September. It is so hot here. It becomes easy for the athletes from East Africa to dominate the race. They are stronger than us but with a good attitude we can score a victory in the Cape Town Marathon,” said Gongqa.

Gongqa is enjoying working with his new coach Zongamela Zongamela after he won the Two Oceans title with veteran coach Hendrick Ramaala. Gongqa, who is 39, was forced to bail out of Comrades Marathon due to injury this year, but said that one of his goals is to win Two Oceans and Comrades in the same year.

“I would like to go down as one of those athletes who managed to win Two Oceans and Comrades same year. It is possible. I can do it. If the others can do it why not me?” said Gongqa.

Independent Media is the official media partner of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon.

The Star

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