Marathon runners do SA proud

BERLIN - South Africa's distance runners restored the country's distance running pride in the marathon that was won by Abel Kirui in a new championship time of 2hrs:06min:54sec on Saturday afternoon.

BERLIN - South Africa's distance runners restored the country's distance running pride in the marathon that was won by Abel Kirui in a new championship time of 2hrs:06min:54sec on Saturday afternoon.

The South African trio of Norman Dlomo (2:14:06), Joseph Kekana (2:14:39) and Coolboy Ngamole (2:16:20) finished in 12th, 17th and 22nd place respectively, giving them fifth place as a team.

"The first 10km were a little slow but between 10 and 15 it was fast," said Ngamole.

"We have no regrets, we were all under our qualifying times. We wanted to find out where we are, and now we know."

Dlomo's 12th place is the best position by a South African in world championships since 2003. The two newcomers, Kekana and Ngamole competed well above their pre-race weight in the team competition, finishing behind Kenya, Ethiopia, Japan, and Portugal.

On paper they would have done well to make it into the top 15, and with each athlete securing a season's best time, the trio have silenced critics of the 10-week altitude training camp in Potchefstroom.

"We want to go back to the camp, it has been really good for us," said Dlomo. "It's the first time Keks (Kekana) and Coolboy have had a coach. Coach (Danson Muchoki) has been good, he knows his stuff." - Sapa

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