Mathanga adds to his CV with Nkandla win

Nkandla — Mbuleli Mathanga has been building an impressive road running CV over the past couple of months and he added to that with a tight 14-second victory in the Nkandla Mayoral Race in Zululand on Sunday.

The 25-year-old underlined his impressive recent form with a hard-fought win over the tough 10km course on Sunday where he beat Phantane Athletic Club teammate Sipho Mbanjwa and Nedbank’s Thobani Chagwe into second and third places respectively.

In the women’s race, Nwabisa Maria Mjoli (Hollywood Bets AC) was too strong for Loveness Madziva (Maxed Elite) and won by just over a minute with Zama Mokoena (Nedbank) claiming a distant third.

Mbuleli Mathanga shortly after winning the Nkandla Mayoral Race in Zululand on Sunday. Photo: Steps Makam.

Mathanga, who ran a 1:01:31 when he finished fifth in a strong field at the recent South African Half Marathon Championships in Port Elizabeth a few weeks after finishing second at the 21km race at the Durban City Marathon, proved too strong for his teammate in Sunday’s race from Vumanhlamvu Clinic to the Nkandla Sports Ground.

Mathanga, Mbanjwa — who won the recent UKZN Campus to Campus 10km — and Chagwe were the three dominant athletes on Sunday. After battling for superiority over most of the undulating 10km course it was the two Phantane teammates who managed to get a gap on the Mandela Day Marathon race record holder, Chagwe.

Mathanga then eked out a small advantage over Mbanjwa in the closing kilometres to cross the line in 33 minutes 59 seconds, just 14 seconds before his teammate, while Chagwe eased across the line 11 seconds further back.

Mjoli, who recently finished just outside the top ten at the South African Half Marathon Championships, was always going to be difficult to beat in the women’s race and it was no surprise to see her cross the line first in 41:23.

Madziva, the runner up at the Campus to Campus 10km last month, finished in 42:29, with Mokoena fading to third, another three minutes behind.

Sipho Mbanjwa could not get the better of his Phantane AC teammate and had to settle for second. Photo: Steps Makam.

1 Mbuleli Mathanga 33.59
2 Sipho Mbanjwa 34.13
3 Thobani Chagwe 34.24
4 Ayanda Ngcobo 35.27
5 Anele Dlamini 35.47
6 Wiseman Mthembu 35.49
7 Tshiamo Marimba 36.57
8 Grevazio Mpani 37.12
9 Siyabonga Ndlovu 37.29
10 Mfundo Chakwe 37.38

1 Nwabisa Maria Mjoli 41.23
2 Loveness Madziva 42.29
3 Zama Mokoena 45.32
4 Nontobeko Ntuli 47.40
5 Slindile Biyela 49.05
6 Namsile Sithole 50.06
7 Dimakatso Motloung 51.03
8 Nomkhosi Mthembu 51.06
9 Anele Ntshangase 51.26
10 Sibongakonke Zulu 54.21

Full results at FinishTime.

Thobani Chagwe claimed third at the Nkandla Mayoral Race in Zululand on Sunday. Photo: Steps Makam.