MANKWENG township in Limpopo erupted with wild celebrations after bank cashier Ludwick Mamabolo became the first South African home in the Comrades Marathon yesterday.
Mamabolo, a former soccer player, finished second behind Zimbabwean Stephen Muzhingi who successfully defended his title.
Mamabolo's home in Mankweng, east of Polokwane, was flooded with friends, relatives and neighbours who came to congratulate them on the impressive performance of their popular son.
Mamabolo's father Jerry Mamabolo told Sowetan: "We woke up as early as 4am to watch TV because of Ludwick, he has done us proud."
His uncle, top soccer development coach Jerry Ramohlale, was among the first people to Mamabolo's house to congratulate them.
"He is a role model to many youngsters in Limpopo and we are proud of his achievements," Ramohlale said.
Mamabolo, who works for an Absa as a teller in Johannesburg, said he was disappointed with not being the overall winner.
" It was my first Comrades and I think I did well, though I of course wanted to win."
Mamabolo pocketed R120000 for his efforts. - Additional reporting by Canaan Mdletshe