BULAWAYO – Blanket Mine’s Nkosiyazi Sibanda was Sunday crowned the winner of the inaugural Joshua Nkomo Half Marathon after cruising to victory in the Joshua Nkomo National Foundation organised race.
Sibanda broke away with about 500 metres to go to the finish line and outpaced pre-race favourite Wirimai Zhuwao to finish in a time of 01:05:42.
Zhuwao had to settle for second place with a time of 01:05:59 while third place went to Masvingo based Elijah Mabhunu who finished with a time of 01:06:00.
The above trio ran three quarters of the race bunched up together before Mabhunu fell behind just as the athletes entered Iminyela.
It then became a two horse race before Zhuwao tried to make a break for it but was easily overtaken by Sibanda who turned on the power to romp home unchallenged.
The ladies race was won by ZRP’s Olivia Chitate in a time of 01:23:35 while her training partner Faith Nyasango was second with a time of 01:25:21.
Another ZRP runner, Helen Chiundo, placed third on 01:27:52 while fourth and fifth place also went to athletes from the police force Annie Chiriga and Phillipa Chivore.
Only two participants took part in the men’s wheelchair race which was won by Elford Moyo in 01:01:03 and second place went to Samson Muroyiwa who finished with a time of 01:04:29.
The women’s wheelchair race was won by Margaret Bangajena with Thandiwe Moyo finishing in second place while Magdalene Madzivire was third and Ratidzo Tom finished in fourth place.
Joshua Nkomo Museum, which is situated at the late nationalist’s residence in Matsheumhophe, was the starting point for the race with the finishing point at his Pelandaba house.
Prominent personalities who graced the occasion include Bulawayo Mayor Martin Moyo, Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Eunice Sandi – Moyo, Sibangilizwe Nkomo and Thandiwe Nkomo – Ibrahim.