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Top SA marathon athletes safe after Boston explosions

By Mark Etheridge

South Africa’s two high profile Boston Marathon athletes are safe after the classic American race was rocked by two explosions at the finish line on Monday.

First reports said that at least two people were killed and 28 injured when two explosions went off in the latter stages of the race.

Olympian Rene Kalmer and Paralympian Ernst van Dyk were both part of the elite event.

Kalmer, making her Boston Marathon debut, clocked 2hr 37min 15sec to be the 18th woman across the line.

Van Dyk, was going after a record 10th Boston victory, but ended up taking the silver medal in 1:27:12 behind Japan’s Hiroyuki Yamamoto (1:25.33).

Kalmer took to social network Facebook from the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel to let people know she as safe. “We are safe after the explosions at the finish line.” She was in Boston with boyfriend Andre van Wyk.

Said Van Dyk: “Just letting everyone know I’m OK. It’s pretty rough out there now and my thoughts are with those who got hurt.

“I was attending a post race event and the second explosion was right across the street. Was terrible to see it all,” he told Road to Rio 2016.

Kalmer later told Road to Rio 2016: “It’s very scary here in Boston. We were about 250m away from the blast busy having lunch when we heard the explosions. It really feels unreal sitting in the hotel and hearing the sirens outside.

“And I thought my race was a train smash. I felt good and strong on 25km on 2:30 pace. Then I pulled my calf muscle. The last 10 miles was really painful with my calf. Happy that I was able to finish the race as a DNF (did not finish) would have hurt more.”

Kalmer went on to reassure families etc that they were safe: “Our hotel is closed down, so hopefully we are safe. Thoughts and prayers to all the athletes affected.”

Another South African in Boston was national triathlon coach Lindsey Parry. “I nailed a 2:47:46. Very happy bar the other stuff…

“I was 400m away in a bar. The whole building shook and it was insane.”


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