Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane on Tuessday reassured the public that student l.
If it wasn't for the absurd long distance of the Comrades Marathon, the thousands of spectators who watched Russian Leonid Shvetsov shatter the 21- year-old down run record of Bruce Fordyce (5:24:07) and pocket close on a million rand, they might just have thought that he had been running a time trial.
When the 38-year-old broke away from the pair of local athletes, Leboka Noto and Sipho Ngomane, with almost 30 kilometres of the gruelling race still to run, the press truck was flooded by the prophets of doom, there was no doubt that he had made his bid for glory too early.
But with around 10 sub 2:12 marathons to his credit and a second place in his debut Comrades back in 2000 in his pocket he knew exactly what he was doing and steamed away as if there was no tomorrow, finishing in five hours 20 minutes 49 seconds.
Such was the majesty of his athletic performance, he breezed through the last 10 kilometres in 37 minutes with his then closest opposition, Leboka Noto more than a kilometre back.
This lead was stretched to a shade under 10 minutes at the Kingsmead Stadium finish, with countryman Grigory Murzin taking second place in 5:30:20, with the first local athlete being Mncedisi Mkhize who clocked 5:32:58 for third.
The fourth to 10th places were made up of former down run winner, Fusi Nhlapo (5:33:56), Leboka Noto (5:35:35), Oleg Kharitonov (5:40:02), Stephen Muzhingi (5:40:19), Sipho Ngomane (5:45:29), Lucas Nonyana (5:47:40) and Godfrey Sesenyamotse (5:48:26).
Nine times winner and now former record holder, Bruce Fordyce was one of the first men to congratulate the new record holder.
"My time of 5:24.07 is now a thing of the past. Records come and records go. But titles will always stay."
Shvetsov had lived up to his pre-race forecast at Friday's media briefing and was obviously a very happy man after what has been described as a near unbelievable run.
"What a run, I am so pleased after finishing second six years ago when I had felt so good physically nearing the finish in Durban, I had always dreamt of being first home. It was my dream.
"It was my goal. It was my desire. It was my everything," he said.
He said that once he had got into the lead - a much bigger margin than he had expected - he just kept going. "I simply never looked back," he said.
He also confirmed that he always had Fordyce's record in sight a kilometre or more away from the finish as he had been informed of the possibility of bettering the mark.
"I just maintained my average pace of 3:35 per kilometre and it paid off handsomely, I am thrilled beyond words."
The least successful of the Nurgalieva twins, Olesya finally won a Comrades, after finishing second on several occasions, with a time of 6:10:11 with only a 29 second cushion over her sister Elena.
Long time front runner Madina Biktigirova fell back badly after halfway but rallied to finished third in 6:22:03, with the dependable Farwa Mentoor claiming fourth and first local lass home in 6:24:38.
Followed by Marina Myshlyanova (6:25:26), Alena Vinitskaya (6:28:51), second local girl home, Yolande MacLean (6:29:55), multiple winner Maria Bak (6:33:56) and third local girl, Adinda Kruger (6:38:39).- Sapa