Is Stephen Muzhingi’s form returning?

Stephen Muzhingi

Stephen Muzhingi

Noel Munzabwa in Swaziland
ZIMBABWE Ultra marathon guru, Stephen Muzhingi broke back into the Old Mutual Two Oceans 56km Top 10 finishing in 8th but most notably clocking his best time in five years of his post 2012 win, raising a glimmer of hope from him.

Crossing the home line in 3:15:47, he not only came within eight minutes of his 3:08:08 which won him the 2012 title catapulting him into fame and history books as one of the only two athletes who held both the Comrades Marathon and Old Mutual Two Oceans titles simultaneously, but raised a bar of hope ahead of the Comrades Marathon in June.

With his celebrated victory in the 2012 Two Oceans which won him an acknowledgement from President Mugabe, he became the first male runner since Derek Preiss in 1975 to hold the Two Oceans and Comrades titles together.

But when his form dipped and injuries took toll on him, the times he recorded began to skyrocket to 2014’’s 3:27:47 and many could have been forgiven to think that age was catching up with him.

His show on Saturday has however, raised hope we are yet to get more good results.

An analysis curve between his Old Mutual Two Oceans and Comrades performances will confirm that 2013 to 2015 his time peaked.

His compatriot Mike Fokorani failed to defend the title he won in 2016 falling out of the Top 10.

Collin Makaza of Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services was the best placed Zimbabwean in Saturday’’s race finishing fourth.

He clocked 3:12:17 — just within three minutes of winner Lungile Gongqa.

In the women’’s marathon Thabitha Tsatsa was the only Zimbabwean athlete in the top 10 finishing eighth in 4:04:08 while in the women’’s half marathon, Rutendo Nyahora and Rudo Mhonderwa finished eighth and 10th in 1:18:11 and 1:19:53 respectively.

Muzhingi’s Times Table

 Two Oceans: 27 th in 2006 (3:22:00); 8 th in 2008 (3:15:28); 4 th in 2009 (3:12:05); 4 th in 2010 (3:10:35); 5 th in 2011 (3:09:46); 1 st in 2012 (3:08:08); 35 th in 2013 (3:27:33); 29 th in 2014 (3:27:47);

7 th in 2015 (3:17:28)8 th in 2017 (3:15:47)

 Comrades: 115 th in 2005 (6:40:37); 51 st in 2006 (6:24:26); 7 th in 2007 (5:40:19); 3 rd in 2008 (5:39:40); 1 st in 2009 (5:23:27); 1 st in 2010 (5:29:01); 1 st in 2011 (5:32:46); 6 th in 2012 (5:38:02); 10 th in 2013 (5:52:38); 4 th in 2014 (5:35:18); 8 th in 2015 (5:56:36)2011 : 33 rd in New York City Marathon (2:29:10a)

 Other performances: 4 th in Township to Township 50 km 2010 (3:03:48a); 1 st in Chatsworth 52 km 2009 (3:07:45); 1 st in South Coast Marathon 2009 (2:27:23); 1 st in Newlands Marathon 2008 (2:33:41); 1 st in Chatsworth 52 km 2008 (3:04:39).

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