Botswana long distance female athlete Onneile Dintwe and his male counterpart Zimbabwean Nkosiyazi Sibanda defended the Orange Phikwe Marathon championship last weekend.
The marathon that was on the 33rd edition was seen to be attracting more individual runners and corporate companies in Selibe Phikwe to take part.
Dintwe described the race as ‘awesome’. “The race was awesome and the weather was good. My time is bad I am not happy but it is good I have managed to win,” she said. Dintwe said she could not train for three weeks because of flu. “Have missed training for three weeks because I was sick but being I professional athletes I managed to make lost time,” she said. She added: “I came here determined to win.” She finished the 42.2km distance in 2hrs 51:48. Thabitha Tsatsa and Samukeliso Moyo from Zimbabwe came second and third.
Her counterpart the winner in the male category, Nkosiyazi Sibanda finished the marathon in 2 hrs 20:41.
Godiraone Nthompe and Kabo Jenamo came second and third respectively in 42.2km.
The marathon runners won P25 000 each.
In the ladies category of 10km Bobonong Runners Club athletes proved to be above their challengers. The won all the top three positions. They won in the following order, Lame Nare, Veronica Masilo and
Judith Kele. Sibanda the champion said he had an easy race and there were no challengers on the way.
The sponsor, Orange was happy to have staged a marathon that attracted large turnout. “We are very happy with the marathon. The turnout was good, the people of Phikwe came out in large numbers to run and give support to the runners. So far the feedback from the runners has been positive. I believe that we delivered on our promise to do better this year,” said Carol Kgafela Orange spokesperson.
Contacted for comment BAA spokesperson Ipolokeng Ramatshaba was happy the marathon went well and the competition was tough according to him. “The organisation was on point. There were no athletes who complained of being lost. The route was well marked and there were enough marshals,” Ramatshaba said.
He observed that the sponsors have motivated athletes to register for the competition. “It also provided the necessary competition on part of athletes because there are good incentives after winning the race. Sporting events like the Orange marathon are seen as some of the activities assist in diversifying the Selibe Phikwe economy. He said it is up to the athletes to train hard if they want to see themselves winning one day.