Ethiopian runners dominated the 27th running of the Soweto Marathon on Sunday in Gauteng as foreign domination continues. The men runners took the first two podium positions while the women completed a top-three clean sweep.


Daba Ifa Debele staged a late surge to reel in his compatriot and early runaway leader Gabisa Bekele Gutama in the final 4km and win by close on a minute.

Debele breasted the tape in 2hr 18 min 58 sec and Gutama, who took the lead at the 15km mark at the Moroka police station. He looked to be sailing to victory, crossed the finish line in 2:19:27.

It could easily have been a clean sweep were it not for Lesotho’s Tshepo Ramashamole who sneaked in at third place in 2:20:21. Just 21 sec ahead of record four-time champion Sintayehu Legese Yinesu.

The women’s race was thrown wide open when defending champion Irvette van Zyl, who was victorious in the past three editions, pulled out.

Her Nedbank Running Club teammates from Ethiopia took advantage. Chaltu Bedo Nagashu victorious in 2:40:56, 2 min 18 sec ahead of Anelework Fikadu Bosho. Compatriot Tinebebe Nibiyu Ali completed the podium positions courtesy of her 2:44:32 run.


The foreign domination of the men’s race means it has now been 11 years since an SA man won the People’s Race.

Ntsindiso Phakathi again carried the local flag high as the first South African to finish. The Entsika Athletics Club runner also came in fifth place. Making a positional improvement from the last time the race was run, in 2019, when he finished eighth.

“I am very happy with the position. I gave it my best but it was clearly not good enough to win the race,” he said free crossing the finish line.

Murray & Roberts’ Adele Broodryk had the honour of being the first South African home in the women’s race thanks to her ninth-place finish.

The Soweto Marathon winning duo also added to their bank balances by R250,000 each.