Marathon cham­pion killed in car crash

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

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

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