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Sports & Off The Pitch
Nov 4 2012 2:35PM
 
Shadrack Kemboi breaks Soweto marathon record
2 November 2008, A general view during the Nedbank Soweto Marathon from Soweto,. Gallo images
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Shadrack Kemboi broke the Soweto Marathon record on Sunday, crossing the finish line in two hours, 16 minutes, 28 seconds (2:16:28), and Mamorallo Tjoka bagged an unprecedented seventh title in the women's race.

Running only his second career marathon, Kemboi smashed the previous record of 2:17:19 set by Elijah Mutandiro in 2003.

“I'm so happy to break the record,” said the 26-year-old Kenyan.

“I didn't have a plan for this race, I just kept up with Timothy [Kibet, who finsihed fifth] and followed him and maintained the pace.

“Towards the 33km mark I could feel it was time to break away."

Motlokoa Nkhabutlane was the first South African to finish the 42.2km race, ending second overall in 2:17:11.

Two-time winner Mabhutile Lebopo of Lesotho came third in 2:17:14.

Kemboi and Kibet, who won the inaugural Gauteng Marathon in September, led the pack from the halfway mark and opened a three-minute gap on the chasing group.

The two Kenyans were running neck-and-neck until the 33km mark where Kemboi broke away and took the lead, maintaining it until the end.

Meanwhile, Tjoka, of Lesotho, won the women's race for a record seventh time in 2:45:20.

Isabella Jepchumba of Kenya finished second in 2:46:35 and Naomy Chebongi was third in 2:47:00.

Tjoka said she had a battled in the build-up to the race and was delighted with another victory, having taken a tumble shortly after the halfway stage.

“This year was tough for me because I came in with an injury and I didn't think I would make it this time around,” Tjoka said.

“After falling towards the 25km mark I was heartbroken because the ladies caught up with me, but I got up and kept on going and managed to leave them behind again.”

Sapa

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