Veteran queen of the road Samukeliso Moyo is still up there with the best in athletics.
Aged 38 now and not showing any signs of slowing down, Moyo clinched fifth place in the gruelling 56km Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town, South Africa, over the weekend in a time of three hours, 08,45 seconds.
Russian legend Elena Nurgalieva claimed gold in 3:41,55s, Natalia Volgina, also of Russia, was second in 3:45.29s, Devon Crosby-Helms of the United States came third in 3:47,30s, while Lesotho’s Mamorallo Tjoka was fourth in 3:50,5s.
Moyo has been on the tracks for almost two decades now, winning a number of titles across the continent. She represented Zimbabwe at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, and the 1999 World Championships in Seville, Spain. She claimed the bronze medal in the women’s
5 000m at the 1998 Commonwealth Games.
Moyo also represented Zimbabwe at the International Amateur Athletics Federation World Cross-Country Championships on a number of occasions, with her best finishes being 10th in the short race at the 1998 edition and 15th in the 1999 long race.
She has won titles at the African Southern Regional Championships, including wins over 1 500m, 5 000m and in cross- country. Moyo began focusing on road running competitions and won back-to-back titles at the São Silvestre de Luanda 15km race in Angola from 1997–98.
She won the Rand Athletic Club 10km race in 2001, taking the title in a time of 34:24s. She set a personal best in the marathon at the 2008 Pyongyang Marathon, where she finished with a time of 2:37,17s.
She won both the Johannesburg City Marathon and the Cape Town City Marathon that year, beating the competition by a large margin on both occasions.
At the Soweto Marathon near the end of the year, Moyo was runner-up to the defending champion Tjoka. She won at the South Africa Marathon Championships in 2009 and returned to defend her title the following year.
Moyo succeeded in winning for a second time, but the victory was somewhat a hollow one for the athlete: “I did not really enjoy the race because the level of competition was low . . . Last year I had to work much harder to win. It was more like a training run this time.”
Moyo’s comparatively slow winning time of 2:48,56s was still 11 minutes ahead of the rest of the women’s field. To cap a fine morning for Zimbabweans in the race, young Rutendo Nyahora claimed third place in the 21km junior event
behind Rene Kalmer (1:15,02s) and
Irvette van Blerk (1:16,22s) finishing in 1:18,30s.
King of the road and record three-time winner of the Comrades Marathon Stephen Muzhingi was first in the men’s section with a time of 3:08,08,2s.
Henry Moyo of Malawi came second in 3:08,35s while fellow Zimbabwean Collen Makaza crossed the finishing line in a time of 3:08,45s.
Over 25 000 runners lined up for the Two Oceans Marathon on a rainy day in Cape Town.
The Two Oceans celebrated its 43rd consecutive run on Sunday, with the first race held in 1970 when 26 runners took part. Since then, the race has become a favourite with local and international athletes, earning the reputation of the world’s most beautiful marathon.