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Athletics | Running

Coolboy Ngamole © Athletics SWD

Ngamole confident ahead of Marathon Champs

“I believe in myself and I believe that I can win again, not forgetting that it is a competition and everybody will be prepared. It will definitely be challenging,” said defending champion, Coolboy Ngamole, ahead of the SA Marathon Championships taking place in Oudtshoorn on Sunday, 3 February.

Ngamole won the title in 2012 when he crossed the line in 2:13:18 ahead of the 2011 Soweto Marathon winner Michael Mazibuko, and will race for the top spot and another national title this weekend. However, after a disappointing performance at the Olympic Games in August 2012 (Ngamole did not finish the race) he is hoping to do well at the Championships on Sunday. “I really want to improve on my 2012 performances and see myself back at the Olympics in 2016 in Rio,” said Ngomale.

But there’s no shortage of challengers as four men from last year’s top 10 will race for the coveted title. Seun Moleshioa from Athletics Mpumalanga finished fourth overall last year in 2:17:19 while Sithyilo Diko from Western Province crossed the line shortly after in 2:17:39. Both athletes will compete on Sunday along with Pule Hlabahlaba and Thidiso Bosiu, sixth and ninth place finishers at the national championships in 2012.

The SA Marathon record holder Gert Thys will be in the line-up again. Thys, from Western Province, finished the race in 2:23:33 in the 19th position last year. The 41 year-old set the national record in 1999 in Tokyo, winning the marathon in 2:06:33.

David Ngakane, an individual entry from Central Gauteng Athletics, and Gauteng North’s Benedict Moeng should not be left out of the equation as they also ran good times in the past year. Moeng won the Petro SA Marathon in Mossel Bay at the end of September, setting up a new personal best time of 2:14:16. Ngakane ran the Mangyongdae Prize Marathon in North Korea on 12 April 2012, finishing sixth in 2:15:59. His personal best is 2:15:31 at the same marathon in 2011.

This will be the first year where athletes will get recognition from the South African Masters Athletics (SAMA) as they have joined forces with Athletics South Africa to combine the Championships. All master athletes (35 years and older) will thus be entered into the age category according to their age on race day.

The Marathon Championships will be one of the events used to select the team for the World Championships in Moscow in August.

The race will start at 05:30 in Oudtshoorn at the corner of Park Road South and Voortrekker Road with the victory ceremony taking place at the SA Infantry School in Oudtshoorn at 10:00. All spectators are welcome on the day.


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