From Noel Munzabwa in DURBAN, South Africa
TOP Zimbabwean ultra-distance runner Stephen Muzhingi yesterday failed to regain the Comrades Marathon title in Durban, South Africa, where he finished fourth.
Muzhingi, the best finisher among the Zimbabwean contingent pregnant with hope, fought it late at the down run to salvage any hopes, clocking 5 hours, 35 minutes and 18 seconds.
However, the hope to fight back was a shed too slow to stop eventual winner Bongmusa Mthembu from bagging the R350 000 purse money for the first man home.
Mthembu secured his maiden Comrades Marathon victory after winning the 89km “down” run finishing the race in five hours 28 minutes 34 seconds.
In his strongest show Muzhingi had stretched within 90 seconds of Mthembu with about 15 kilometres to go.
But the seasoned Zimbabwean runner allowed two South Africans Ludwick Mamabolo, the man who dethroned him two years ago, and Gift Kelehe to outpace him in the closing 10 kilometres.
Mamabolo and Kelehe settled for second and third places respectively.
Also making the top 10 were Swedish athlete Johannes Buud, Manoko Mokwalakwala, Zimbabwean Prodigal Khumalo, Latudi Makofane and Russian novice Vasily Larkin.