Updated: April 10, 2016


Lusapho April made history in Germany on Sunday, becoming the first man to win the Hannover Marathon three times.
After charging through the halfway mark in 1:04:25, as part of a small lead group, April broke away in the closing stages.
While he was unable to maintain the pace on his own up front, with his own course record of 2:08:32 slipping away, he hung on to cross the line in 2:11:27.
His triumph added to his previous victories at the annual race in 2011 and 2013.
Kenyan Martin Kosgey was the only athlete able to stay in touch with the South African, taking second place in 2:11:57.
Former World Championships 10 000m bronze medallist Moses Masai ended third in 2:15:42.
April’s time lifted him to second place among the Olympic qualifiers for the Rio marathon.
With Stephen Mokoka (2:07:40) expected to focus on the 10 000m event at the Games, April was joined by Sibusiso Nzima (2:11:43) and Lungile Gongqa (2:11:59) as the leading contenders for three available spots in the SA team.
Only Hendrick Ramaala and Xolisa Tyali will turn out again in international marathons before the qualifying window closes at the end of this month, with both athletes due to make their final bids at the Hamburg Marathon next week.