Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
1 Jun 2014
9:59 am

Mputhi takes Comrades lead in closing stages

Wesley Botton

South African Joseph Mphuthi held a comfortable lead as the elite men entered the crucial final stage of the Comrades Marathon in Durban on Sunday.

File Pic: General views during the Comrades Marathon. Photo: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

Zimbabwean Marko Mambo had taken over from long-time leader Gert Thys, who faded and started to walk with around 30km remaining in the 89km race.

Mambo, however, was hit by severe leg cramps at the top of Fields Hill and collapsed on the floor, writhing in pain.

Mphuthi used the opportunity to surge past, with a group of six men, including former winners Stephen Muzhingi and Ludwick Mamabolo, chasing him into Pinetown.

He was well clear of the rest of the field with 21km left in the gruelling ultra-marathon.

Defending champion Claude Moshiywa pulled out the race in the first half after struggling with a groin injury.