With pace setters ensuring the race was quick up front, Asefa Negewo (Ethiopia) made history by breaking the long-standing fastest time set on South African soil over 42.2km, held previously by David Tsebe (2:09:50).
Negewo stormed to victory at the prestigious Sanlam Cape Town Marathon on Sunday, in a time of 2:08:42 to lift the men’s crown at the IAAF Silver Label race. The second man home in a field which included top local and international athletes was Emannuel Tirop, who crossed the line in 2:08:47, with Baranabas Kiptum earning third spot in 2:09:21.
Meanwhile, Tish Jones won the women’s race in 2:36:13, holding off a challenge from another world-class elite line-up. Mergertu Geletu came second, in 2:36:34, finishing ahead of third-placed athlete and South African Lebogang Phalula, who finished in 2:38:00.
“It is great to see such fast times being run on SA soil, which shows how much value a race of this stature brings to the sport at domestic level,” said race ambassador and former world half-marathon record holder Elana Meyer.
Yegs Ramiah, Chief Executive of Sanlam Brand, congratulated the 2016 winners and all participants on their exceptional achievements, saying: “As naming rights sponsors of this iconic city marathon, we would like to congratulate each of the runners who took part in the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon today. You have all done the hard miles and reaped the rewards. To be able to run the only IAAF Silver Label Marathon in Africa along some of the most beautiful scenery in the world is a true honour. We are proud to sponsor an event that places Cape Town on the global stage alongside cities such as Boston, New York and London.”
The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, one of Africa’s most iconic road races, boasted a mass field of 8000 entrants, cementing its position among the continent’s most popular road running events.
“Three years after it was relaunched, we have seen the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon develop into a world-class event,” said race director Janet Welham. “We are confident it will continue to grow in success and popularity as the race goes from strength to strength in our goal to achieve IAAF Gold Label status.”