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April wins in Germany

East London’s Lusapho April has made good use of his knowledge of the Hannover Marathon course when he sprinted away from Kenya’s Peter Kuriu to win his third attempt at the event.

April made his first appearance in the German City in 2009 when he finished eighth. Clearly Hannover is a happy hunting ground for him as he returned in 2010 to finish fifth and now the cherry on top in the form of victory.

His time of 2hr 09min 25sec saw him book his spot on the men’s marathon team for South Africa for the World Championships alongside Stephen Mokoka (who has opted to concentrate on the 10 000m in which he has also qualified).

In hot summer conditions, April helped set the pace almost from the start, taking 24 athletes with him. This pack stayed together until the 25km mark before the surges started coming. The pace was upped so dramatically, that by 39km only April and Kurui were racing neck and neck. Only the high temperatures and in some places, strong headwind, prevented April from breaking the course record of 2:08.25 set in 2010 by Kenya’s Yussuf Sangoka.

Last month April had successfully defended his Old Mutual Two Oceans half-marathon title and said then that he was looking forward to his race in Hannover.

April had made his debut in the marathon in Hannover two years ago. He also won the South African marathon title in February this year, clocking 2:12:21.

South Africa now have a full compliment of qualified women’s marathon runners at the World Championships for the first time since South Africa started to compete at the championships back┬á in 1993. Last year Tanith Maxwell qualified in Berlin in September, Annerien Van Skalkwyk in Singapore in December last year and most recently also Rene Kalmer in Prague on Sunday.

With April the men now have their second qualifier alongside Mokoka who ran 2:08:33 in Seoul last year in November. But with Mokoka having stated his intention of focusing on the 10,000m,┬á April ÔÇô at this point ÔÇô will be flying the SA flag on his own in the men’s race.


1 comments
mandilakhe
mandilakhe

wow what a briliant talented athlete.lusapho is ready for 2012 london olympics no matter what and am sure he will make it.even though we have stephen mokoka,ramaala and cool boy.what i mean is that april is a good athlete.