SOUTH Africa's Tete Dijana flashed a wide smile when he crossed the Comrades Marathon finish line in five hours and 30 minutes in the eastern port city of Durban on Sunday.
Aug. 29, 2022
2 min read
Dijana, Morozova win Comrades Marathon titles
The 2022 Comrades Marathon winner, Tete Dijana
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He works as a security guard at the North-West University, and his employer congratulated him on Twitter.
It was Dijana's second go at the annual event, having placed 50th in 2019.
Since then, the 34-year-old has quit his security guard job to focus on being a full-time athlete.
It was a tactical masterclass from Dijana, who crossed the line in 05:30:38. This was the first Comrades Marathon since 2019 with the last two editions scrapped due to Covid-19.
Edward Mothibi, the 2019 champion and Dijana’s Nedbank team-mate, finished second.
The pair had hunted down early pace-setter Onalenna Khonkhobe, who had crossed the half-way mark in record time only to fade badly.
There was nothing separating Mothibi and Dijana heading into the last 10 km, but when Dijana made his move and broke away, he did not look back.
The crowd roared as he entered Moses Mabhida, having started his journey at 05:30 outside the Pietermaritzburg City Hall.
A Russian athlete won the women's event after a successful court challenge to her exclusion from the gruelling 90-kilometre (56-mile) race.
Aleksandra Morozova, 32, conquered the route across South Africa's eastern hills in six hours and 17 minutes.
But she was only able to compete after overcoming her initial exclusion from the event.
Aleksandra Morozova of Russia won the women's event
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South Africa's Edward Mothibi and Tete Dijana
The World Athletics Council had recommended her exclusion as part of the ban on Russian athletes from international events over the country's invasion of Ukraine.
She got the ban reversed by a South African court on Friday.
Morozova placed second in the 2019 race and third in the 2018 race. This year, as winner, she picks up a $15 000 prize.
Nearly 15 000 people took part in the race, with an average completion time of 10 hours and 18 minutes.
The Comrades ultra-marathon was first run in 1921 and is staged annually between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province. - Supersport