Tete Dijana wins the 2023 Comrades Marathon finishing at Kingsmead Stadium in Durban on June 11 2023.
Image: Darren Stewart/Gallo Images
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Tete Dijana defended his Comrades Marathon crown on Sunday morning, winning the 87.701km epic from Pietermaritzburg to Durban after a surge from 15km out.

The Nedbank runner crossed the line at Kingsmead in a time of 5 hr 13 min 58 sec, stripping more than four minutes off David Gatebe’s best time of 5:18:19 from 2016.

His victory earned him R1.2m, with R500,000 for the win, R500,000 for beating the mark and R200,000 for being the first South African home. 

Ayanda Ngcobo took the early lead and held it past the halfway mark in Drummond, but he had gone out too fast and he paid the price, giving up and walking.

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Japan’s blue-haired Jo Fukuda, who had been lying sixth at Drummond, moved into the lead just ahead of Aleksei Beresnev of Russia, but the two foreigners were also unable to sustain their challenges.

The Nedbank crew of Dijana, 2019 champion Edward Mothibi, Joseph Manyedi and Dutchman Pieter Wiersma, the bronze medallist at the 2022 world 100km championships, overhauled them and worked together for a while before Dijana, still looking fresh, kicked on alone.

But had the race been longer he may have been caught by the fast-finishing Wiersma, who clocked 5:14:01, just three seconds behind. 

Mothibi was third in 5:17:34. 

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