Sveti - South Africa earned three medals at the IAU 100km World Championships on Saturday, with both the men's and women's teams securing podium places at the biennial showpiece in Sveti, Croatia.
Three-time Comrades Marathon winner Bongmusa Mthembu led the onslaught, bagging an individual bronze medal in the men's race. Mthembu, who led the race with a little more than 10km remaining, held on in the latter stages to complete the event in 6:33:47.
Hideaki Yamauchi of Japan bagged the gold medal in 6:28:05. With Thuso Mosiea finishing 14th and Best Ngwenya ending 16th, the SA men also took silver in the team contest.
After pacing herself well in the women's race, Salome Cooper spearheaded the charge for the South Africans, crossing the line in seventh position in 7:51:13.
Though she was well behind Nikolina Sustic, who won the title for host nation Croatia in 7:20:34, Cooper carried the SA team to another silver medal, with Fikile Mbuthuma taking 14th place and Lisa Collett finishing 19th.
“That’s excellent for our team of men and women to finish second in the team contest,” said James Moloi, acting President of ASA. “Mthembu deserves the biggest applause for getting on the podium for the second time as an individual by winning bronze medal.
“We congratulate both our teams for hard work and honouring the mandate we gave them to go there and fly the flag of Republic of SA at the championships. Thank you to the coaches and management for the excellent work and discipline displayed by team.”