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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

Lusapho April backs Melikhaya Frans to do well at Boston Marathon

Celebrated South African marathoner Lusapho April believes that Melikhaya Frans will do well when he races the Boston Marathon on Monday. Frans who is running a second major marathon after he participated in the 2020 London Marathon is hoping to continue his good run of form when racing in United States of America. During last year's World Athletics Championship in Oregon, the man from Gqeberha had a brilliant run, clocking a huge personal best time of 2:09:24. April who ran Boston four times in his career, believes the route will suite Frans to produce perfect run.

Melikhaya Frans experiences pure joy after finishing second (1:01:03) behind Lesotho's Namakoe Nhkasi at the 2022 Nelson Mandela Bay Half Marathon which incorporated the Athletics South Africa national half marathon championships to take his first national title. Photo Credit: NMB Half Marathon.

"Firstly, I must congratulate Melikhaya for getting an invitation to run Boston. It's one of the biggest races in the world and any athlete would wish to be part of it. I have ran the race before and the route is not tough like people always say. It is downhill for most of the race which I think will give Frans an advantage. The reason I struggled there is because I'm an athlete who likes tough and hilly routes. I think also the time he ran during Absa RUN YOUR CITY GQEBERHA 10km recently (28:49) will serve as the good preparation for him heading to race day," explains April, who is the national 25km record holder.

Having already met the qualifying standard (2:09:40) for this year's World Champs scheduled in the Hungarian capital of Budapest, Frans target is to edge closer to 2024 Paris Olympics in France. The 3-time Hannover Marathon champion April, is positive that Frans's talent and work rate can see him representing the country in the global showpiece.

April celebrates after crossing the finish line first during his three victories at the Hannover Marathon. Photo Credit: Supplied.

"I think Melikhaya (Frans) has what it takes to clock 2:08:10 in order to book a ticket to the Olympics. He is a strong athlete with full commitment in his training," said April, who represented the country in 2012 and 2016 edition of the Olympics.

"The times required from the athletes especially in the marathon are bit tough but these days the competition has gone up. I was looking at how many marathoners have managed to clock 2:08 and the numbers keep going up. So we must move with times and become like the rest of the world. I have full trust in Frans that he can run the required Olympic time. He still has enough time."

40-year-old Lusapho April famously took third place at the 2013 New York Marathon holds a marathon personal best of 2:08:32. His best finish at the Boston Marathon came in 2014 when he clocked 2:14:59. The Boston Marathon takes place on Monday 17 April and will be televised on SuperSport Variety 3 (Channel 208) from 15H30.

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