Marathon champion killed in car crash
FORMER road-running champion Zithulele Sinqe has died in a car accident.
Mandla Radebe, the general manager of Central Gauteng Athletics, said yesterday that Sinqe, 48, had been involved in an accident on Thursday in Balfour, where he worked after starting a development athletics club in the area.
“Sinqe was a member of the Central Gauteng Athletics commission, so this is a big loss to the province and to the sport of athletics,” Radebe said.
He said Sinqe, who had worked as a coach and television commentator over the last few years, would be remembered for his titanic battles against Willie Mtolo, Matthews Temane and Xolile Yawa during South Africa’s golden age of road-running, shortly before the end of isolation.
He was crowned South African Marathon champion in 1986 with what was then the fifth- fastest time in history, clocking 2:08.04 in Port Elizabeth to beat Mtolo, a future New York Marathon champion, by 11 seconds.
The following year Temane pipped Sinqe on the line to win the South African halfmarathon title, with both runners clocking 1:01.11 – a world best time for the distance which stood for 10 years before Kenya’s Shem Kororia ran 59:56 in Kosice in 1997.
In the twilight of his career, Sinqe turned his focus towards ultra-marathon races, winning the 56km Two Oceans Marathon in 1996 and 1997. – Sapa