17 Sep 2017 13:30pm
KARIBIB, 17 SEP (NAMPA) South African runners dominated the fourth edition of the Navachab Half Marathon in Karibib on Saturday.
Joel Mmone from North West Province came first in a time of one hour, three minutes and one second (1:03:01), and was followed by Thabang Mosiako, also from North West in 1:03:02, and Lucky Mohale from Gauteng in 1:04:03.
Reinhold Thomas was the first Namibian over the finish line in 1:04:04 to end fourth, while Reonard Nampala took fifth place overall in 1:04:05.
Mmone set a new course record, breaking the previous record of 1:06:01 set up by Kefas Kondjashili of the Namibian Police Force Athletics Club in 2016.
A total of 276 men and women took part in the race; an increase from 246 participants last year.
The three South Africans started like a house on fire and created a big gap after just six kilometres (km) into the 21,1km race.
The trio increased their pace with just three kilometres to the finish line. This was also when Mmone broke away from the pack, leaving behind Mosiako who led the race for about 19km.
Namibias Lavinia Haitope won the womens race, clocking 1:14.01.
South Africas Mapaseka Makhanya ended second in 1:17:03 and Janet Dlamini, also from South Africa, third in 1:18:02.
Speaking to Nampa after the race, Mmone said the route was easy and he was happy with the win.
The route was so flat we only had two hills and I knew my teammate Mosiako would not keep the same pace for 21km, that is why I started attacking from the three kilometre mark, he said.
South Africas Team Manager, Ntathu Gwadiso told this agency her runners came to compete and they are happy to have dominated the race in the male category.
These are specialised 21km runners, and winning here against good athletes from Namibia, Swaziland and Mauritius shows how hard the team has prepared, and we are looking forward to other competitions in the future in Namibia, she said.
Race organiser and Regional Sports Officer in the Erongo Region, Berthold Karumendu was satisfied with the outcome of the race.
In terms of logistics, everything went accordingly, except for Zambia and Lesotho who made commitments but could not join for reasons not communicated to us, he said.
Karumendu expressed excitement that the race is growing.
We are hoping to attract more international athletes in future, he said
On the country standing, South African walked away with gold medals in the male and women categories, while Namibia was awarded silver in both categories, and Swaziland bronze in the women's category. There was no country winner for the bronze medal in the men's category.