Top Local Athletes Can Expect Tough Competition From International Contingent

(Cape Town, 10 April 2017) Elite athletes from all over the world, African and South Africa will descend on the Mother City to take part in the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon which takes place on Easter Saturday 15 April 2017.

The athletes are expected to deliver a top class performance both in the Half and the Ultra Marathon. 

Caroline Wöstmann and Charné Bosman have dominated ultra running in this country for the past few years, with Wöstmann taking line honours in the past two Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathons.
Bosman has chosen to focus her training on the Comrades Marathon later in the year, while Wöstmann will be lining up come Easter Saturday but can expect some tough competition from those who are only focusing on the 56km Ultra Marathon.
This year there is a top contingent of international and African athletes that have confirmed their entries.  These include Belarusian Marina Damantsevich and Ethiopians Almtsehay Kakissa and Elisabeth Arsedo who all boast personal bests of sub 2 hours 40 minutes for the standard marathon.
The fastest marathoner in the women’s field is Damantsevich who has come to Cape Town with one goal, and that is to win and take home the first prize of R250 000.  She boasts a marathon personal best of 2:30:07 (Warsaw Marathon 2015) and has run a host of sub 2 hour 35-minute marathons during her running career.
When asked if she plans to break the record, her coach Anatoliy Bychkov said that the record is an extremely tough one to break and that the runner needs to be comfortable running a sub 2 hour 26‑minute marathon to do so.  Bychkov added that they plan to have her ready to break the record in 2018.
There is an additional prize purse of R1-million courtesy of Old Mutual for the athlete who breaks the record originally set by Thompson Magawana and Frith van der Merwe.  Magawana set the men’s record of 3:03:44 in 1988, while Van der Merwe set the women’s record a year later in 1989 when she ran 3:30:36.  The closest any runner has come since then is Zimbabwean Marko Mambo, who ran 3:05:39 in 2005.  Russian Olesya Nurgalieva ran the second fastest women’s time in 2011 when she crossed the finish line in 3:33:58.

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