Cape Town - The South African men’s ultra-distance running outfit clinched the team prize at the 50km World Championships in Brasov, Romania on Sunday after claiming three of the top six finishers in the race.
Pietermaritzburg-based Comrades Marathon star Bongmusa Mthembu settled for sixth spot (2:50:23) as former Two Oceans champion Lungile Gongqa was the top placed South African in second position in 2:48:26 behind Spanish winner Iraitz Arrospide (2:47:42).
Reigning Comrades champion Edward Mothibi took fifth place in 2:49:49.
Joseph Manyedi came 11th in 2:51:46 and David Gatebe 21st in 3:02:43 to round off a great day for the “Mzansi” group.
As a group, the South African men came first in a total time of 8:28:38, followed by Germany (8:35:52) and Great Britain and Northern Ireland (8:41:00)
Meanwhile, Great Britain beat the USA and Austria to the women’s team title after a one-two finish by Alyson Dixon and Helen Davies. Dixon clocked a speedy 3:07:20 in her first ever ultra-marathon and Davies followed in 3:09:16.
Dixon’s time beat the previous world record of 3:08:39 set by South Africa’s Frith van der Merwe in 1989.
The SA women’s contingent were led home by Yolande Maclean who finished 17th in 3:28:47, with her compatriots well behind.
LEADING RESULTS IN ROMANIA:
1. Alyson Dixon (GBR) - 03:07:20
2. Helen Davies (GBR) - 03:09:16
3. Alicia Perez (ESP) - 03:15:09
1. Iraitz Arrospide (ESP) - 02:47:42
2. Lungile Gongqa (RSA) - 02:48:26
3. Daniel Nash (GBR) - 02:49:01
1. Great Britain and Northern Ireland - 9:39:33
2. USA - 10:03:18
3. Austria - 10:19:58
1. South Africa - 8:28:38
2. Germany - 8:35:52
3. Great Britain and Northern Ireland - 8:41:00