The road to winning the ASA Marathon championships was full of challenges for the Central North West athletics star Tumelo Motlagale. Road running legend Elana Meyer gave him running shoes, and he went on to win the marathon championships.

Motlagale won the 42.2km ASA Marathon championships in 2: 11:15 in Durban over the weekend.

The ASA marathon was in conjunction with the Durban International Marathon. Motlagale won R20 000 for being ASA champion and R50 000 for winning the Durban International Marathon.

Isaac Mpofu of Zimbabwe won the Durban Marathon in 2:10:04, but he was disqualified for a temporary license rule violation and paved the way for Motlagale to become a double champion.

“I feel very great I won my second position today it was unexpected but I guess the training was enough and I’m happy that I did manage. So far there were no challenges and I had a very fantastic race” said Motlage.

He qualified for the World Championships marathon to be held in Eugene, Oregon USA in July.

Motlagale ran the qualifying time (2:11:30) for this year’s World Athletics Championships and he said that was his “aim was to qualify for the World Champs”.
He dedicated his win to his dad Abram Motlagale for supporting him throughout his injuries. He also thanked the whole family for being there for him.

“That’s my dad that’s my coach; he’s been with through the injuries through the adversity, my whole family actually. Yah I dedicate this to them” the long distance runner concluded.

The long distance runner went under the knife and did not run for two years. But he bounced back to qualify for the big event. He secured sponsorship from Boxer Running Club after using Meyer’s donated shoes.

By Charles Baloyi

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