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Mpofu, Chitate Win FNB Kazungula Bridge Marathon

ZIMBABWE'S distance runners Isaac Mpofu and Olivia Chitate made an impression at the inaugural FNB Kazungula Bridge Marathon over the weekend when they came out tops in the 42.2km men and women categories.

Mpofu was the first to cross the finish line in the men's race in 2 hours 22 minutes 29 seconds.

In the women's section, Chitate emerged the winner in a time of 2 hours 55 minutes 22 seconds.

The 42.2km attracted a prize money of P50 000.

The event, which also featured a half-marathon, 10km race and 5km fun run, attracted over 3 000 athletes from different countries.

Mpofu and Chitate are part of athletes that were picked for training camps being organised by the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe to prepare for major competitions.

The two missed the first camp held early this month in Bulawayo but are expected to attend the second one scheduled for March.


Kazungula marathon done and dusted!

Organisers of the inaugural First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) Kazungula Bridge Marathon can now breathe a sigh of relief after putting together a marathon that attracted over 3 000 athletes from across the globe. The Saturday activity transformed Chobe into a sport tourism and entertainment hub. FNBB Kazungula Bridge Marathon chief executive officer and founder, Obert Morgan, said though a few logistical challenges were registered, the organising team delivered on the project. He said the marathon, anticipated to be an annual event, had potential to grow bigger and better. The event, which was divided in four categories; 42.2 km marathon, 21km half marathon, 10km race and 5km fun race was dominated by Zimbabwe athletes. The 42.2km that attracted a prize money of P50 000 was won by Isaac Mpofu and Olivia Chitate both from Zimbabwe in the men and women categories respectively. Second positions were scooped by Matius Jesaya of Namibia and Ethel Pangiso of Zimbabwe in the men’s and women’s category with each of them pocketing P22 000. The 21km race was won by Paulos Ncube of Zimbabwe in the men’s category and Joeline Chematai of Kenya in the women’s category while the second positions went to Moses Tarakiwe of Zimbabwe and Kopo Koveya of Botswana. The men’s veteran category went to Lucas Raseruthe and Calvin Phangiso got second position while the women’s category, Rosinah Kiboibo and Sarah Yano took position one and two respectively. The 10km race was won by Gaone Bathoen in the women’s category and Sylvester Koko in the men’s category. In the second positions were Karabelo Bakwadi and Tshepiso Masalela in the women’s and men’s category respectively. Mpofu said he had his eye on the prize money, which would benefit his family. He said besides the race being tough and the weather not favourable, everything else was fine. Mpofu explained that while he kept pace with five other athletes who were in the leading positions, he managed to pick up just after the 30km mark and that won him the prize. Jesaya reckoned the race was fine except after the 30km mark where the route became tough because it was hilly. He said the route was properly marked and hoped to participate again next year. He said he participated in the marathon in order to maximise his chances of qualifying for the Commonwealth and Olympics. For her part, Chitate said she was happy that everything was well organised while area MP, Machana Shamukuni thanked orginsers for choosing Chobe. BOPA

Inaugural Kazungula Bridge marathon garners massive interest

The FNB Kazungula Bridge Marathon 2022 organisers are happy with the level of interest from runners who have registered to take part in the marathon. The sentiments were shared by marathon Marketing and Public Relations director, Obonye Malope in an interview with The Telegraph sport. “We are happy with the level of interest and support the FNB Kazungula Bridge Marathon has received so far. We have had support from central and local government, sponsors, the broader business community, participants and other critical stakeholders such as the Botswana Police, Botswana Defence Force, Kazungula Bridge Management team and the media,” Malope explained. She further explained the race will be one of the biggest events in Botswana since the lifting of the covid restrictions. “We were aware that with this being the first year, as well as the largest sporting event since the lifting of government restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there would be a lot to be learnt. We remain committed to executing an event worthy of Chobe and the iconic Kazangula Bridge itself, and, along with all our stakeholders, making history on Saturday 26 February 2022,” she said. The marketing director said the benefits of the marathon are many and is destined to benefit Chobe district and Botswana. “The FNB Kazungula Bridge Marathon will contribute to the Chobe region, and indeed Botswana in several ways. Economically, the event will directly benefit the hospitality sector as participants and those coming to exhibit will be staying in hotels, guest houses, lodges and campsites in the region. In addition, the very same participants and spectators will take part in excursions and other entertainment offerings during the week leading up to and including the race weekend,” said Malope. She said they currently have just under 1000 participants who have registered and paid for the four races. The marathon has targeted to have 2500 participants. “In our planning for the FNB Kazungula Bridge Marathon, we catered for 2500 race participants. We have about 3000 registered, with 1000 participants having paid for their races. We have therefore extended payment until Friday 18 February 2022 to cater for those who have registered and are intending to pay. 2500 remains our cut-off point,” explained Malope She also explained that they have planned an exhibition area at the race start and finish point, as well as a Market Place for local producers to showcase their various products to a captive market, ready and willing to purchase. The organisers further expect the informal sector to benefit before, during and after the race day itself. “For the broader Botswana economy, due to the fact that we will all converge to Chobe from Botswana and beyond, the race will contribute to the travel and petrochemical sectors. We expect first-time visitors to Chobe to return based on their experience,” she explained. The marathon has partnered with Botswana Tourism Organisation as its technical, quality assurance and marketing partner. The prize money cumulative for all winners across the categories is P500, 000.
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