'This is the biggest victory of my life' - Givemore Mudziganyama wins Two Oceans on debut
Givemore Mudzinganyama stunned a quality field when he produced a 3:09:56 run to claim top honours at the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town this morning. The Entsika Athletic Club top runner who was running his first Two Oceans, made a decisive move as he crested the 2km climb up Constantia Nek. He cruised to victory with Dan Matshailwe of the Nedbank Running Club finishing second and pre-race favorite Nkosikhona Mhlakwana taking third place. The 32-year-old Tembisa resident who hails from Zimbabwe says he still can't believe he has managed to conquer Two Oceans especially in a race against such strong athletes.
"I'm so happy. This is the biggest victory of my life. I still can't believe that I have managed to pull this off," said an elated Mudzinganyama. "The preparations heading to the race indicated that I could produce good results on the day. So I entered the race with a positive attitude to go all out and win. But to finally see it happening is something else. I think it shows that my hard work has paid off. I'll celebrate this victory for many years to come."
Since obtaining a professional running contract with Entsika Athletics Club this year, Mudzinganyama has managed to focus solely on running. Before that he was forced to juggle work and running. He repaid his club with good performances on the road. In February, he won Kazungula Bridge Marathon in Botswana in a time of 2:17:10 as his preparation for Two Oceans ramped up.
"I am grateful to Entsika for giving me the contract. Before, I was finding it hard to multi-task by trying to balance working and running at the same time. With Intsika on my side and giving me adequate support, I have manage to run better and improve as an athlete. I have got no reason to fail to because the support I'm getting. So I'm thankful for what they have done for me. I'm a champion today because of them," shared the man who is coached by former New York Marathon winner Hendrick Ramaala on a Zoo Lake training group.
It was a great day for Entsika and Ramaala in general as the Asics Frontrunner's Zoo Lake teammate Mswenkosi Mthalane took fourth place (3:11:17), while Mudziganyama's wife Nobukhosi Buhle Tshuma was fourth (3:45:38) in the women's race - all are coached by Ramaala. "I'm happy for Givemore and he must celebrate this achievement because he worked hard for it. He is a very disciplined and a strong athlete. I must not take credit for the way he ran today. I think all the credit must go to him and his Zoo lake training partners because they are committed to work hard. They have a winning mentality."
In the women's race, Gerda Steyn underlined her status as the leading South African running queen by bettering the course record she set last year with a superb 3:29:06 run. The 33-year-old Phantane Athletics Club athlete sliced her 2022 winning time by 36 seconds to claim fourth consecutive title in the Mother City. She also became the third lady to win the race four times after Monica Drogemoller and Russian athlete Elena Nurgalieva.