Charles Tjiane broke clear in the closing stages to grab his third straight win, and Charne Bosman fired another warning at her opponents ahead her ‘up’ run title defence at the Comrades Marathon, with the veteran South African athletes securing victory in the men’s and women’s races at the Forever Resorts Loskop Marathon outside Middelburg on Saturday.
Tjiane shook off a challenge from Zimbabwean Collin Parura, crossing the line in 2:54:11 to bag his hat-trick of wins at the popular annual 50km road race.
Though he was more than 10 minutes off the pace of the course record held by former Olympic marathon champion Josia Thugwane, Tjiane did enough to open a gap of 34 seconds over Parura, who finished second in 2:54:45.
Thulane Magagula was the third man home in 2:56:28.
Bosman, meanwhile, charged to a convincing victory in a nippy time of 3:21:45 in the women’s race, just three weeks after taking third place at the 56km Old Mutual Two Oceans in Cape Town.
She was more than six minutes clear of Ann Ashworth, who finished second in 3:28:20, with Kenyan athlete Jennifer Koech ending third in 3:31:47.
A four-time Comrades gold medallist, Bosman was set to defend her ‘up’ run crown at the 90km contest in KwaZulu-Natal in June.