Ethiopian athletes on form in Soweto

Updated: November 6, 2016

Sintayehu Legese takes his third Soweto Marathon victory (photo credit: Jetline Action Photo)

Strengthening his grip on the race, Sintayehu Legese of Ethiopia racked up a hat-trick of victories at the Old Mutual Soweto Marathon on Sunday.
After sticking with a large lead group for most of the race, going through halfway in 1:10:25, Legese made a break over the last few kilometres to win the annual event for the third year in succession.
He completed the 42km distance in 2:20:44, crossing the finish line 62 seconds clear of Lesotho’s second-placed Tsepo Ramonene.
Seutloali Khoarahlane, also representing Lesotho, was third in 2:23:22, and Edward Mothibi was the first South African, ending seventh overall in 2:25:33.
In the women’s race, Ethiopian Selam Abere secured a convincing victory in 2:42:32, finishing well ahead of compatriot Chelitu Asefa who grabbed second spot in 2:45:22.
Local favourite Irvette van Zyl took third place in 2:46:32 after making a late decision to compete, in the early stages of her comeback from a foot injury.
The half-marathon race was won by in-form South African David Manja, who was nearly a minute ahead of countryman Joel Mmone.
Onneile Dintwe of Botswana won the women’s 21km contest in 1:19:41, with Olympic marathon runners Lebo Phalula and Christine Kalmer finishing second and third respectively.
Namakoe Nkhasi of Lesotho, who is based in Soweto, continued his dominance of the domestic road running circuit in recent weeks, clocking 30:17 to earn the men’s 10km title, holding off former SA marathon champion Desmond Mokgobu by 11 seconds.
Teenager Chery-Lee Schoeman took perhaps the biggest win of her fledgling career in the women’s contest, completing the race in 38:45, just 14 seconds ahead of another junior athlete Lyndi Roelofse who took the runner-up spot.

* Full results are available in our Results section