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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

Hollywoodbets AC rewards Mhlakwana with R50 000 for Totalsports Two Oceans second place

Running sensation Nkosikhona Mhlakwana is smiling all the way to the bank after receiving a cash incentive from his club, Hollywoodbets Athletics Club during a special event hosted on in Umhlanga, Durban yesterday. The luncheon was organised to celebrate the club's athletes who did wonders during the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon last month in Cape Town.

Mhlakwana, who came in position 2 in the 56km race, was awarded a cheque of R50 000 for his efforts. Speaking after receiving the money, Mhlakwana, who hails from the township of Siphumelele, Howick in the KwaZulu Natal midlands applauded the club for looking after runners. "I'm so happy with the money I received today," he told #TheTopRunner shortly after regaling those in attendance with the tale of his breathtaking sprint finish against Ethiopia's Edendale Belachew who beat him by just three seconds.

Nkosikhona Mhlakwana and his coach Prodigal Khumalo pose with the athletes R50 000 cheque received from Hollywoodbets AC for his runner-up finish at the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon. Photo Credit: Hollywoodbets AC.

"I'm so happy again that my club decides to thank us for the wonderful work we do as athletes. I appreciate the support I have received from Hollywoodbets and this will fuel me to achieve greater things in the future. I'm going to use this money to support the family as they depended on me. We will sit down as the family to decide how are we going to spend it," said an elated Mhlakwana.

And it wan't just the man nicknamed #ThePitbull who was handed a cheque for his performance in The Mother City on Easter Weekend. For her 7th place finish in the women's 56km, 2018 Comrades Marathon champion Ann Ashworth pocketed R8 000, Nontokozo Mkhize who was 8th earned R7 000 and Collen Mulaudzi who took 7th in the men's 21km race also received a special gift for his efforts. For Morgan Shandu, who is the Purple Brand's National Operations Manager he feels that all the athletes who received the incentives deserved it.

Hollywoodbets AC Chairman Greg Glossop (left) poses with (from left) Collen Mulaudzi, Nkosikhona Mhlakwana, Ann Ashworth and Morgan Shandu at luncheon to celebrate the club's top achievers at the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon. Photo Credit: Hollywoodbets AC.

"One of the reasons we decided to give out the bonuses is that it was the first time that the club got gold medals in Two Oceans," said Shandu. "Secondly, this will set up as the motivation to them to achieve more in their careers. We all know running doesn't pay much so this will make them happy that their efforts are being appreciated. And we still have more incentives for our athletes who will do well at big races like Comrades Marathon, Cape Town Marathon, and Soweto Marathon," he explained.

In addition to the monies paid out to individual athletes, Hollywoodbets also announced a donation of a whopping R92 672 to its sister and feeder club the Phantane Athletics Club. The proceeds from entry fees of last year's Hollywoodbets Durban Summer 10km, have been gifted to Phantane to continue their work of identifying and developing future top runners in KZN.

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