Zimbabwean runners reigned supreme in the half marathon of the TotalSports Two Oceans Marathon on Saturday morning, with debutant Moses Tarinyiku triumphant in a three-way sprint finish while Fortunate Chidzivo won the women's race at a canter.
Tarakinyu showed tremendous fighting spirit to cross the finish line after 21.1 km in a time of 1:03:31, just 1.55 seconds ahead of South Africa's Elroy Gelant, the defending champion from 2019 after the 2020 and 2021 editions of the race were scrapped as a result of Covid-19.
Another South African, Desmond Mokgobu, came third and the top three were engaged in a thrilling fight to the finish line.
"I am very happy with this first place," Tarinyiku said at the finish.
"It is my first time taking part in the Two Oceans. I struggled a bit from the 17km and I kept looking at where Elroy was "
In the women's race, Fortunate Chidzivo gave Zimbabwe the double when she won in 1:14:49 in a far more dominant fashion.
Chidzivo finished a staggering 25 seconds ahead of Ethiopia's Kore Tamiru Gelaye while another Zimbabwean in Caroline Mhandu came third.
"I had stomach cramps and was vomiting last night so to be able to win this is such a pleasure. This is a dream come true. Every year my wish has always been about stenting on that top podium."
South Africa's best finishers were Laura Labuschagne (4th) and Stella Marais (6th).