South Africa

Nkoka wins Two Oceans

2014-04-19 10:33
Lebenya Nkoka (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Lebenya Nkoka of Lesotho and Russian Nina Podnebesnova secured maiden victories on Saturday in the men's and women's races at the 56km Two Oceans ultra-marathon in Cape Town.

Nkoka broke clear of a three-man lead group, which also included countryman Warinyane Lebopo and South African debutant Hendrick Ramaala, in the latter stages of the race to win in 3:09:52.

The elite men's field had targeted Thompson Magawana's 26-year-old record of 3:03:44, with a R1 million bonus on the line, but after a fast start the pace gradually slowed.

"Some of the guys said they would try for the record, but they didn't train properly for it and weren't prepared," Nkoka said.

"I was aiming to run under three hours and 10 minutes, so I'm very happy."

While Ramaala dropped off the pace, allowing Lebopo to open a gap, he fought back to grab second place in 3:11:33 in his first ultra-marathon.

Masilo Matjiane of Lesotho also produced a late surge to finish third in 3:12:00, with Lebopo settling for fourth in 3:12:24 and long-time leader Ketema Tadesse of Ethiopia finishing fifth in 3:12:35.

"The people on the road really kept me going over the last few kilometres," Ramaala said.

"At 42km I thought the race was over for me so I'm very grateful for their support."

Podnebesnova, meanwhile, won the women's race in 3:40:07, nearly 10 minutes outside Frith van der Merwe's 25-year-old record.

The 34-year-old Russian had finished fifth in two previous attempts at the race.

"I prepared differently this year because I've changed to a new coach," she said.

"I'm very happy to win and I'll be back next year."

Shitaye Gemechu Debellu of Ethiopia, who had made an early attempt at Van der Merwe's mark and the lucrative financial incentive, finished second in 3:43:37.

Four-time winner Elena Nurgalieva of Russia, who said she had picked up flu in the build-up to the race, was third in 3:43:59.

Paulina Njeya was the first South African woman home, taking fifth position in 3:50:48.

National champion Stephen Mokoka won the men's half-marathon in 1:04:16 and in-form Lebo Phalula secured victory in the women's 21km race in 1:14:00.

Results of the 2014 Two Oceans marathon in Cape Town:

56km: Men: 1 Lebenya Nkoka (LES) 3:09:52, 2 Hendrick Ramaala (RSA) 3:11:33, 3 Masilo Matjiane (LES) 3:12:00, 4 Warinyane Lebopo (LES) 3:12:24, 5 Ketema Tadesse (ETH) 3:12:35, 6 Michael Mazibuko (RSA) 3:13:05, 7 Arnold Kibet Kiptaoi (KEN) 3:14:06, 8 Henry Moyo (MAL) 3:15:37, 9 Mthandazo Qhina (RSA) 3:16:07, 10 Othaniel Phahlane (RSA) 3:16:21

Women: 1 Nina Podnebesnova (RUS) 3:40:07, 2 Shitaye Gemechu Debellu (ETH) 3:43:37, 3 Elena Nurgalieva (RUS) 3:43:59, 4 Mamorallo Tjoka (LES) 3:46:13, 5 Paulina Njeya (RSA) 3:50:48, 6 Olesya Nurgalieva (RUS) 3:51:46, 7 Chelitu Bogale Asefa (ETH) 3:56:58, 8 Ntombesintu Mfunzi (RSA) 4:00:52, 9 Alemtsehay Hailu Kakissa (ETH) 4:03:56, 10 Samukeliso Moyo (ZIM) 4:07:32

21km: Men: 1 Stephen Mokoka (RSA) 1:04:16, 2 Joel Mmone (RSA) 1:04:29, 3 Gladwin Mzazi (RSA) 1:04:29, 4 Benedict Moeng (RSA) 1:04:40, 5 Asefa Negewo (ETH) 1:05:12

Women: 1 Lebo Phalula (RSA) 1:14:00, 2 Rene Kalmer (RSA) 1:14:23, 3 Gezashigh Gemeda (ETH) 1:15:02, 4 Mapaseka Makhanya (RSA) 1:15:35, 5 Lavinia Haitope (NAM) 1:16:41

Send us your Two Oceans Marathon photos to to Sport24 to be included in our Two Oceans Gallery!

Read more on:    two oceans marathon  |  cape town  |  athletics


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

How should the 2019/20 English Premier League title race be resolved?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.