Long-distance runner Teboho Sello won a gold medal at the 2023 Comrades Marathon race, which took place in South Africa, last week.
The veteran runner finished in position seven after running for 05:24:23 in the grueling 90-kilometer ultra-marathon race.
That finish meant Sello has now finished within the top ten brackets of the race four times, bringing his gold medal collection from the race to four from the seven times he has participated in the race.
The top ten finishers of the marathon receive gold medals. Sello also pocketed M35 000 in prize money for his efforts.
Soon after crossing the finish line, Sello was initially identified as a South African and not a Lesotho citizen; something which took him by surprise.
â€œI noticed that when I opened my mobile phone after the race,â€ Sello remarked.
The Comrades Marathon success was Selloâ€™s second victory within three months after he won the 2023 Sasol Half Marathon in April in South Africa.
Lesotho runners are common winners in South African races, and apart from Sello, Lesothoâ€™s contingent at the Comrades Marathon included Mabothile Lebopo, who finished in position 32, Maphate Peete (position 63), Motlou Samuel Majoro (position 69), Lebelo â€˜Mopenyane (position 110), Lebenya Nkoka (position 147) and Moeketsi Mosuhli, who finished in position 379.
The Ultimate Human Race, as the race is also known, was won by Nedbank Running Clubâ€™s Tete Dijana in 5:13:58 in menâ€™s race; breaking David Gatebeâ€™s 2016 Best Time of 5:18:19 by over four minutes.
Gerda Steyn claimed victory in the womenâ€™s race in a time of 5:44:54, breaking Frith Van Der Merweâ€™s 34-year stranglehold on the Womenâ€™s Best Time of 5:54:43 by more than nine minutes.
84 countries were participating with 16,072 starters and 14,896 finishers. This means the 2023 Comrades Marathon had a 92,68 percent finish rate which is the highest-ever finishing rate in the history of the race.
The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) hosted an exclusive Comrades 2023 Champions Price-giving Breakfast, presented by Brand South Africa, at the Southern Sun Elangeni Hotel on Monday this week, where the winners received their prizes.
Sello received M35 000 for finishing seventh in the race.
During the prize-giving ceremony, CMAâ€™s chairperson, Mqondisi Ngcobo congratulated the 2023 Comrades Marathon champions.
â€œThis yearâ€™s Comrades Marathon has been nothing short of phenomenal. We are pleased to introduce our 96th Comrades Marathon Champions to the world.
â€œWe commend these two superb athletes on their Proudly South African performances and take immense pride in celebrating their victories and new Best Times,â€ Mqondis said.