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Local Runners Break Foreign Dominance

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
Local runner Rapula Dipheko won the men's title. PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
It was becoming a norm that foreign runners dominate local road races. But that was brought to a halt yesterday at Botswana Life half marathon. 

Most of the athletes were using the race as a dress rehearsal for Phikwe national marathon that follows next weekend.

Rapula Diphoko of Diacore runners club was the fastest and won the race in 1:07:24. Pint-sized Sesebo Matlapeng followed closely to reach the finish line in 1:07:27.

Another local runner, Amantle Kekganetswe with a time of 1:07:40 claimed the third position. Namibian runner Issace Kigen arrived fourth with a time of 1:08:33. Another Diacore club runner, Sylvester Koko claimed the 10km race in 30:53.

Namibian runner, Leena Ekandjo won the women’s title with a time of 1:20:14. She repeated what she did during the recent BDF half marathon. Kefilwe Galeitsiwe and Keneilwe Kwena followed each respectively. The race favourite, Mema Tiango of Diacore runners club had a bad day in the office as she finished fifth with a time 1:29:40.

Veteran road race athlete, Onkemetse Solotate made her presence

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felt in the masters’ category finishing second clocking 1:33:12. Speaking to Monitor Sport, Diphoko said he wanted to gauge his body ahead of Phikwe marathon.

“I have been resting and did speed training on Friday. It has been an off-season and I have been taking it easy. The race went according to plan. But I was disappointed that Namibians and Kenyans did not give me the push that I expected,” he said.

For his part, Matlapeng said the most important thing was to prepare speed for the next race.

“Next weekend we are going to run in a course full of obstacles. That is going to be interesting for me because as a short person, I am able to take advantage. Taller athletes use most of their energy in long strides,” Matlapeng said.

The women’s champion, Ekandjo said she did not face stiff competition from her opponents.



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