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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

Steyn to donate Totalsports Two Oceans course record bonus to athletics development programmes

South African road running queen Gerda Steyn claimed a record-breaking third consecutive Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon title in Cape Town this Sunday. After winning the last edition of the run back in 2019 Steyn returned as the post-pandemic defending champion looking to add the the trio of victories which started in 2018.

"I'm feeling very happy. First of all, to win to race, it is tough to come back as the defending champion. You get reminded every day and everywhere you go, people think you going to win again," explained the 2019 Comrades Marathon winner.

The 32-year old became the first athlete in 22 years to win the World's most beautiful ultra marathon on three consecutive times occasions. The Adidas sponsored athlete conquered the race in 03:29:42 to break the course record which had stood fro 33 years. The previous record of 3:30:36 belonged to legendary Comrades and Two Oceans champion Frith Van Der Merwe.

Gerda Steyn punches the air in celebration after smashing the course record at the 2022 Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon. Photo Credit: Two Oceans Marathon Media.

"I'm so happy that I got the opportunity to win this race again. As for breaking the record, this won't change the way I look at myself, and train, and will always stay humble. I hope this will inspire the youth, whether they were on the route or watching on television that we as South Africans have it in us and we can go faster. To break this record that has stood since 1989 is such an honour. I hope in a few years people will remember my smile and the passion I have for running," she smiled.

For setting a new course record, the athlete who is coached by Andrew Booysen and represented South Africa at #Tokyo2021 took home an additional R250 000 on top of the quarter of a million first prize. She is planning to plough that money back in the youth. "First of all, I must thank Totalsports for looking after us as the athletes. With the bonus money, I will donate some to athletics development programmes across the country," said the national marathon record holder (2:25:28).

Steyn and van Zyl flying down the Chapman's Peak during the 2022 Two Oceans Marathon. Photo Credit: Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon Media.

"There are a couple of coaches across the country like Andrew there in Pietermaritzburg who are doing well in terms of development. So I must donate some money so that will discover more athletes in the country. This will be set as the inspiration that as the country we can produce athletes that can go faster and faster," she said.

Irvette Van Zyl who finished second inside the previous course record with the time of 03:30:31 and will pocket an extra R50 000 for her effort. Nedbank Running Club's Amelework Bosho of Ethiopia rounded the top three.

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