Marathon star Mpofu claims Africa Games bronze, takes Zimbabwe’s haul to 10 medals

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Isaac Mpofu

Paris Olympic Games-bound marathon runner Isaac Mpofu added to the country’s medal haul at the ongoing African Games in Ghana after he won a bronze medal in the men half marathon race on Friday.

Mpofu romped home 1 hour 05 minutes 37 seconds and was 33 seconds behind gold medal winner Samsom Amare Hailemicael from Eritrea who crossed the finish line in 1 hour 5 minutes 04 seconds.

Ghanaian runner William Amponsah was second just nine seconds behind Hailemicael.

It was an encouraging performance for Mpofu who confirmed his participation at the Olympic Games back in December 2022 after beating the qualification time of 2 hours 8 minutes 10 seconds completing the race in 2 hours 6 minutes 48 seconds at the Valencia Marathon.

There was no joy for Zimbabwe in the women half marathon race after South Africa-based distance runner Rutendo Nyahora finished in 11th place in a time of 1 hour 20 minutes 52 seconds and was a little over six minutes behind race winner Lohila Ataleta from South Sudan.

Mpofu’s medal brought Zimbabwe’s tally at the African Games to 10 including two gold, four silver and four bronze in swimming, athletics, cricket, tennis and rugby sevens.

The country ranked 18th on the medals table but is expected to add to its medal tally before the conclusion of the continental games.

On Thursday evening tennis star Benjamin Lock claimed his second silver medal of the African Games after partnering his brother Courtney in the men’s doubles tennis final.

Benjamin had earlier in the day clinched another silver medal in the singles after losing to Tunisia’s Moez Echargui.

The world No. 318 Tunisian defeated Lock 7-6 (9), 3-6, 6-2 and will qualify for the Paris Olympics if he maintains his ranking inside the top 400 until 10 June.

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