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Russian athlete Alexandra Morozova — despite the ban on all Russian athletes — competed in and won the 95th edition of the 90-kilometre Comrades Marathon on Sunday.
World Athletics had apparently advised Athletics South Africa to not allow her to compete. She protested in Pietermaritzburg court and was able to start the race. Apparently, she will have to return to see if the win will stand up and to find out of she may collect her prize money.
Morozova has been able to compete during the Russian ban. In 2021, the now 32-year-old, set her marathon personal best at 2:32:44 in Stockholm, Sweden. However, she has been competing primarily in Russia.
Morozova entered the filled Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban to cross the finish line in the time of 6:17:48 for the win.
Through an interpreter, she said, “I am very excited and happy that I could achieve this victory. I am very emotional and sorry for any inconvenience that I caused before the race. I appreciate the support I got.”
Finishing in second place was Polish athlete Dominica Stelmach who finished in the time of 6:25:09. She was also the first masters athlete across the line as she competed in the 40-49 age category.
South African Adele Broodryk took third in the time of 6:26:35.
South Africa’s Morena “Tete” Dijana took the men’s race clocking a 5:30:38 winning time. Fellow Nedbank Running Club teammate Edward Mothibi finished second three minutes back at 5:33:46 and for third, it was Dan Moselakew in 5:36:25 for the Nedbank club podium sweep.
Mothibi had the lead, however, Dijana — a university security guard, in the race of his life — overtook the leader late in the race.
NWU congratulates Tete Dijana in winning the Comrades Marathon. As a member of the MI 7 security group at the Mahikeng campus you are an ambassador for the NWU.— North-West University (@theNWU) August 28, 2022
Tete Morena Dijana wins men’s race in just his second Comrades https://t.co/nm5z1iFrhe
South Africa’s Onalenna Khonkhobe took the lead early on and held it for much of the race. However, he stopped casually to talk to spectators, eat, and then apparently took a nature break in the bushes. This cost him the lead.
Khonkhobe ran to halfway in the time of 2:25:51 which is apparently the fastest pace of all-time for reaching Drummond.
For winning the prestigious “Ultime Human Race,” Dijana’s running resume is modest, with a 1:05:46 half marathon best from Port Elizabeth last year and a 14:48.23 5000m best from 2011.
Sadly, a father of four passed away during the race Mzamo Mthembu apparently was experiencing issues and was taken off course and to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.