A Harmony affair

Amos Khotha

Amos Khotha

Top runner, Graham Malinga, pictured, of Harmony Athletic Club, had no difficulty winning the 15th yearly Matla Black Gold Marathon at Matla mine in Kriel, Mpumalanga, on Saturday.

By winning the race Malinga has scored a hat trick within a month. He won the 32 km Bronkhorspruit and 10 km Witbank Nite race, respectively.

Malinga easily covered the 42,2km course in 2 hrs 25 min 50 sec. Hot on his heels was teammate Sivuyile Ndwabeni who clocked 2: 30: 05.

It was a Harmony affair as Nicolas Merrica grabbed the third position in 2:30: 16, while 2005 Comrades winner, Sipho Ngomane (Harmony) occupied sixth position in 2:38:28.

Most of the runners used the race to qualify for the Two Oceans and Comrades marathons.

Malinga said: "The course was tough. After running neck and neck with Ndwabeni I surged out at the 32 km mark and never looked back."

Malinga said that he was preparing for the Two Oceans, scheduled for April 7.

In the women's section, Eunice Nhlapho of Eskom registered a runaway victory when she clocked in 3:04:31 and was followed by Linah Mhlongo (Harmony) in 3:08:21

In the same venue, Enos Matelane came top in the half-marathon race in 1:09:08.Mandiwane Ndofhiwa of Transwerk won the women's section in 1:20;08 and team-mate Mpho Sihadi was second in 1:23:50.