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Tsatsa Completes Hat-Trick in Eswatini - Zimbabwe Today
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Tsatsa Completes Hat-Trick in Eswatini


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Veteran Zimbabwean female long-distance runner Thabitha Tsatsa is the indisputable queen of Eswatini roads after bagging the mountainous monarchical kingdom’s biggest road race — the Imbube Marathon — yesterday morning, completing a hat-trick of victories in this event which started and ended at Somhlolo National Stadium.

As a show of sheer dominance in this marathon, the 46-year-old athlete shed off close to four minutes of her 2017 time to romp home to victory after 3 hours four minutes and 32 seconds to receive a royal handshake from King Mswati III, a trophy, a gold medal and R25 000, further extending her record in this annual event.

There is truly no way a pupil could have beaten her tutor with Tsatsa’s nearest challenger and teammate at Nedbank Athletics Club, Winile Mnisi, finishing second with a time of 3 hours, nine minutes and 20 seconds.

“It was a tough course and the athletes never allowed me any lead in the first third of the race but I had to capitalise on the uphill to win the race but still my only challenge at that stage was Winile . Endurance had to win it for me.

“For any marathon runner this course has always been a difficult one which probably explains why there were fewer marathon athletes from other countries and even those who participated at this edition professed the challenges,” said the 2013 Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon champion.

For the better part of the race, the thousands of participants had set with a closely contested bunch which literally never allowed the Zimbabwean any space but as expected the notorious Malagwane uphill would reduce the challenge, allowing Tsatsa and Mnisi to peel off into the lead which they took into Mbabane City.

Even at the return Malagwane downhill it was becoming very much visible only one of the two would bag the title but experience and endurance in Tsatsa had to emerge triumphant towards the Mvutjini to Ezulwini uphill and by the time they reached the flat terrain of Lobamba, the Zimbabwean had literally bagged her third title.

The victorious Zimbabwean, who arrived in Eswatini via Oshoek Border Post, had little time to celebrate heading back to her South Africa base shortly after her victory, leaving as the queen of Eswatini road behind.

Meanhwile, in the men’s category, another Zimbabwean runner Collin Parura Kanyimo came fifth after crossing the finishing line with a time of 2 hours, 31 minutes and 17 seconds in a race won by South African Sphamandla Nyembe who clocked 2 hours 29 minutes and 36 seconds.

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