South African marathon runner, Lusapho April, wrote his name into the record books by becoming the first-ever male athlete to achieve three victories in the HAJ Hannover Marathon.
He crossed the finish line of this year’s race, held on 10 April, with a winning time of 2 hours 11 min 27 sec, competing with adidas running shoes that use the latest Continental Traction Compound soles.
“The conditions were not ideal due to the wind,” April said after the race. “Additionally, I hoped that the leading group would stay together a bit longer and that the pacemakers would be in there as well.
“But obviously I am very happy to have won a third time in Hannover. The atmosphere was great, and I hope to be able to return next year.”
Although he wasn’t able to match his own course record of 2:08:32, this year’s performance should be enough to clinch a place in the Olympic marathon in Rio de Janeiro in August. “It is my goal to achieve a top 10 finish in Rio,” he said.
Kenyans Martin Kosgey and Moses Masai followed in second and third, finishing on 2:11:54 and 2:15:43 respectively.
Continental Corporation is a major sponsor of the HAJ Hannover Marathon, with the 26th running featuring a record entry of more than 21 000 runners.
“We would like to congratulate Lusapho on a truly historic result, and he has done South Africa proud,” commented Shaun Uys, Managing Director for Continental Tyre South Africa.
“His commitment and determination is truly exceptional, and we wish him the very best of luck for the 2016 Olympics,” Uys added.
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