South Africa earned three medals at the IAU 100km World Championships on Saturday, with both the men’s and women’s teams securing podium places at the biennial showpiece in Sveti, Croatia.
Spearheading the SA men was three-time Comrades Marathon winner Bongumusa Mthembu, who led the onslaught, bagging an individual bronze medal. Mthembu, who led the race with a little over 10km remaining, held on in the latter stages to complete the event in 6hr 33min 47sec.
Hideaki Yamauchi and Takehiko Gyoba of Japan bagged the gold and silver medals in 6:28:05 and 6:32:51 respectively.
With Thuso Mosiea finishing 14th and Best Ngwenya ending 16th, the SA men also took silver in the team contest, clocking a combined time of 20:33:49.
After pacing herself well in the women’s race, Salome Cooper spearheaded the charge for the South Africans, crossing the line in seventh position in 7hr 51min 13sec.
Though she was well behind Nikolina Sustic, who won the title for the host nation in 7:20:34, Cooper carried the SA team to another silver medal, with Fikile Mbuthuma taking 14th place and Lisa Collett finishing 19th.
Germany’s Nele Alder-Baerens came in second place in 7:22:41 minutes after Sustic and was followed by Japan’s Mai Fujisawa in third place.
‘That’s excellent for our team of men and women to finish second in the team contest,’ said James Moloi, acting president of ASA. ‘Mthembu deserves the biggest applause for getting on the podium for the second time as an individual by winning the bronze medal.
‘We congratulate both our teams for hard work and honouring the mandate we gave them to go there and fly the flag of Republic of SA at the championships. Thank you to the coaches and management for the excellent work and discipline displayed by the team,’ Moloi concluded.
Photo: Bongmusa Mthembu finishing third at the 2018 IAU 100km World Championships, by iRunfar.
1 Hideaki Yamauchi (JPN) 6:28:05
2 Takehiko Gyoba (JPN) 6:32:51
3 Bongmusa Mthembu (SA) 6:33:47
14 Thusio Mosiea (SA) 6:59:00
16 Best Ngwenya (SA) 7:01:02
1 Japan – Combined time of 19:37:01 from first, second, and fourth positions
2 South Africa – Combined time of 20:33:49 from third, 14th, and 16th positions
3 Germany – Combined time of 21:02:12 from 12th, 17th, and 23rd positions
1 Nikolina Šustić (CRO) 7:20:34
2 Nele Alder-Baerens (GER) 7:22:41
3 Mai Fujisawa (JPN) 7:39:07
7 Salome Cooper (SA) 7:51:13
14 Fikile Mbuthuma (SA) 7:59:17
19 Lisa Collett (SA) 8:06:14
1 Japan – Combined time of 23:03:50 from third, fourth, and fifth positions
2 South Africa – Combined time of 23:56:44 from seventh, 14th, and 19th positions
3 Croatia – Combined time of 24:13:57 from first, 18th, and 46th positions