06 May Gongqa set sights on asa marathon champs
Former Cape Town Marathon champion Lungile Gongqa has set his sights on the ASA Marathon Championships title. The race will be held in conjunction with the Durban International Marathon.
But the 43 year-old has been battling a bout of influenza and he was unable to train for three usefull days as a precautionary measure. The Western Cape-born runner will line up in the 42.2km race as one of thefavourites in the city of eThekwini at 6am.
Gongqa re-started training on Wednesday but said he remains optimistic about his chances of winning the marathon. According to him, he took a homemade concoction of medicine and had plenty of rest to ready himself for the big race.
“My chest was burning and I couldn’t train, but I feel better now and ready to run the race of my life. If I am fully healthy on the day, no one will prevent me from winning the race,” said Gongqa, who predicted a fast time.
He started his season at a local marathon in Cape Town, winning it at the time of 2:29 in March. He warmed up for the ASA Marathon by finishing 22nd in 3:24:27 in the 56km at the Two Oceans ultra-marathon also at the Mother City during the Easter weekend.
Gongqa expressed his happiness following the return of road races after the country suffered a severe lockdown of 2019, 2020 and 2021 due to Cvid-19 pandemic and wants to use opportunity to make a few cents to support his family.
“Yes, I am back at Nedbank on a one year contract. Life was terrible for me after losing the sponsorship in 2020 due to Covid-19. I want to repay the bank for signing me again by winning the race. At worst, I will contend for a top-three finish. I am confident of running a good race because I am injury-free.”
The ASA Marathon Championships will start at 6am on Sunday. The Durban International Marathon will also host an open 10km race, starting at 6.30am.