LONG distance runner, Tšepang Ramonene is hoping to secure qualification for the World Championships by winning the upcoming Zuma Marathon on 30 April in Durban, South Africa.
The annual 42 kilometre race is named in honour of South African president Jacob Zuma.
Ramonene, who finished 16th in last month’s Seoul International Marathon in South Korea, expressed confidence that he would win the Zuma Marathon.
“The good thing about this race is that it will be on the hill and I enjoy running on hills than flat races so I am confident I will win this one,” Ramonene said.
“I started my preparations last week after resting for a few days upon returning from the Seoul Marathon where we didn’t do well together with my twin brother, Tšepo who finished 13th,” Ramonene said.
“It was just too cold in South Korea and we failed to adjust to the weather in time.
“It was therefore hard for us to run but we tried and at least finished in the top 20.”
Ramonene said a month was usually enough preparation time because he also underwent a comprehensive training regimen with his teammates at Khubetsoana Athletics Club.
Ramonene is also part of the Durban-based Phanthane club of athletes.
The pint-sized athlete who won the Nelson Mandela Marathon in August 2016 with a time of 2 hours 29 minutes and 14 seconds, said he was targeting to set a new personal best of at least 2h10m00s.
“I am looking forward to setting a new personal best, under 2:10:00 because that is normally the standard qualifying time for international competitions so I will need to work even harder.”
This will be his second international marathon this year.