Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
MATSHIPA, WOSTMANN WIN OM DIE DAM TITLES
Ultra-distance specialists Fanie Matshipa and Caroline Wostmann led a South African cleansweep in Hartbeespoort on Saturday, romping to comfortable victories at the Old Mutual Om Die Dam 50km race.
Matshipa, a two-time Comrades Marathon gold medallist, dominated the entire men’s contest and after opening a big gap on his opponents, he never looked back.
Though he was more than 10 minutes outside the race record set by Othaniel Phahlane five years ago, Matshipa took complete control, crossing the line in 2:59:32.
Former Comrades winner Ludwick Mamabolo proved he too could still pose a threat against the younger challengers at the prestigious 89km race in KwaZulu-Natal in May, holding off the rest of the field to grab second spot in 3:01:48. He completed the race 10 seconds ahead of Khubulani Zondo.
Wostmann was equally impressive in the women’s race, and though the times across the board were unusually slow despite the conducive conditions, the mother of two from Pretoria was clearly running well within herself.
She crossed the line in 3:38:38, and while Wostmann was more than 17 minutes off Frith van der Merwe’s 22-year-old course record, she will be pleased with her progress as she prepares to defend her historic double at the Two Oceans and Comrades races in the next couple of months.
She finished well ahead of Julanie Basson, who took second place in 3:45:47.
Wostmann became the first athlete in history, man or woman, to hold the Comrades, Two Oceans and Om Die Dam titles at the same time.
Meanwhile, Joel Mmone won the the Om Die Dam half-marathon race in 1:06:40, and Catherine Skosana secured the women’s title in 1:26:33.
Kgosi Tsosane (29:47) and Cornelia Joubert (37:01) were triumphant in the men’s and women’s 10km events.
A moment of silence was held before the start of the race for six-time women’s 50km winner Riana van Niekerk, who died of cancer last month.
* Full results are available in our Results section