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Coolboy’s red-hot win

Already having run a qualifying time for the Olympic Games in London later this year, Coolboy Ngamole all but made sure that he’s a racing certainty to be part of Team South Africa as he won Sunday’s SA Marathon Championships in George, writes Mark Etheridge.

Ngamole has a happy history in this race, having won two years ago and then placing second to another Olympic qualifier, Lusapho April, in last year’s championships.

April decided to give Sunday’s race a miss in order to avoid a repeat of injury worries after last year’s marathon championships.

Ngamole, running as an individual for North West Province comfortably dipped under the Olympic A standard of 2hr 15min when he crossed the tape in 2hr 13min 18sec.

Free State’s Michael Mazibuko was second in 2:15:12 and Zolani Ntongana of Western Province third in 2:16:50.

Late last year Ngamole ran a 2:10:43 qualifier in Valencia, Spain, meaning he is now all but guaranteed to make the national team for the Olympics. Five of our male runners have already qualified.

Of our top women only Rene Kalmer with a 2:29 last year has made the grade. Sunday’s’s winner was Charne Bosman who defended her title in 2:41:56, some way off the A standard of 2:37. Central Gauteng’s Mpho Mabuza was second in 2:43:29 with Gladys Lukhwareni, who some years ago tested positive for doping, third in 2:48:25.

SA senior record holder Gert Thys took bronze in the veteran’s category in 2:23:33, after recently been cleared of a doping suspension.