New SA Marathon champions to be crowned in Durban tomorrow
When athletes line up for the Durban International Marathon in Isipingo tomorrow they will have two things in mind - to win the race and become the South African Champion. The race which incorporates with SA Marathon Championships, offers a flat course from start to the finish at the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium. With most of the big-name marathon athletes such as the reigning SA Champion Stephen Mokoka, Olympians Desmond Mokgobu and Sibusiso Nzima missing, then the assembled field has the chance to taste the national crown.
The fastest man in the field is Daniel Moselakwe (Athletics Gauteng North) with a 2:14:00 personal best. Although relatively unknown, the 28-year-old can be dangerous as showed when he finished inside the top 5 at the 2019 Om Die Dam - which remains one of the highlights of his career.
Also in the mix is former SA 50km record holder Jonas Makhele (Central Gauteng Athletics) will hope to continue the form he showed in Cape Town last month. Makhele took the tenth position during the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon in The Mother City and will aim to improve on his 2:18:12 marathon lifetime best this weekend.
But so fas as having the experience required to win a big race, then Lungile Gongqa (Western Cape Athletics) is probably the most likely to snatch the crown. The former Two Oceans Marathon Champion won the Weskus Marathon in March in 2:29 and will be motivated to keep the winning form alive. The 43-year old reported battling with the flu and will hope to clinch the victory after coming close in 2015 in Cape Town where he finished second.
Set to make his marathon debut is former SA 1 500m Champion Flavio Sehohle. Sehohle has been specializing on short and middle distances for quite some time. The 31-year-old former Heiniski Half Marathon winner holds a personal best of 63:58 over 21km distance. The welcoming route should favour Sehohle to enjoy a fast and flat course in his first marathon.
In the women's section, Jenet Mbhele (KwaZulu-Natal Athletics) will carry local hopes. Mbhele, who hails from UMzikhulu, South of KwaZulu-Natal represented South Africa at the 2018 World Half Marathon Championship in Spain and has 2:41:00 time over the distance. She faces a tough competition including former SA Champion Cornelia Joubert and Stella Marais who recently dipped under the 2:40 mark when she ran a lifetime best of 2:38:22 during the Peninsula Marathon in Cape Town in February.