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2,000 Runners Fight for Top Honours in Zimbabwe Marathon

Kelvin Pangiso and Constance Nyasango won the event last year but Mukahanana is of the view that they can be toppled. (File Photo)

Zimbabwe’s top marathon runners are starring huge financial pickings in the face this weekend.

Over 2,000 of the country’s top marathon runners will be on show in the third edition of the 21 kilometre Old Mutual Westgate Marathon to be held at its traditional venue on Sunday.

Rarely does a marathon event attract the best in the country than this race and the names of who will be on show reads like a who is who in Zimbabwean marathon events.

The attraction is based on the huge financial rewards on offer with the winners guaranteed of $3,000 and the runners up $1,500 and $1,000.

These are the biggest cash prizes on offer on the Zimbabwean athletics calendar and Grace Mukahanana from the sponsors, Old Mutual, says all in all they are putting in $150,000 for the event.

Kelvin Pangiso and Constance Nyasango won the event last year but Mukahanana is of the view that they can be toppled.

Cuthbert Nyasango and Wirimayi Juwao, who have been shortlisted for the 2016 Olympic Games, have confirmed their participation. So are Rutendo Nyahora, Faith Nyasango, Sharon Tawengwa, and Tabitha Tsatsa.

There will also be an international flavor according to Sebatien Garikai of the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe.

The event has a large spectator value as people have numerous vantage points from where they can watch the competition.

One of which is that they can watch the runners file past towards the finishing post from the comfort of their verandas as the route passes through a residential area.

Castle Lager Premier Soccer League action returns this week with top of the table Dynamos on the road to play Norman Mapeza’s FC Platinum.

Dynamos last played competitive football two weeks ago when thumping Highlanders 4-1 in the TM Pick N Pay Challenge and victory over FC Platinum will move them closer to their fourth consecutive league title.

The defending champion lead second placed Highlanders by three points but Highlanders have a tough assignment against Harare City at Rufaro Stadium on Saturday.

ZPC Kariba will have to wait a bit longer to play at their Nyamhunga Stadium after the Premier Soccer League refused to give the green light for the use of the stadium. This is despite the Zimbabwe Football Association having given the greenlight for the use of the ground.

Instead, the third placed team will play relegation threatened Black Rhinos at Gwanzura Stadium.

Will these scenes of celebration return to the Green Machine of Caps United. This is the question that is being asked as Makepeke prepare to face How Mine after losing to FC Platinum twice in cup matches over the last two weeks.

Turning to the Barclays Premiership. The pick of the crop is Sunday’s showdown between top of the table Chelsea and defending champions Manchester City.

Under Jose Mourinho, Chelsea are still unbeaten in four starts but Manchester City have the overall strength and team spirit to bring that to an end.

On the same day, Louis Van Gaal’s Manchester United are away to Leicester but the Premiership gets rolling tomorrow when second placed Aston Villa host Arsenal.

Bottom placed Newcastle are at home to fellow strugglers Hull City with Swansea who lost 4-2 to Chelsea last week hoping to bounce back against Southampton.

Liverpool, who have a lot of support in Zimbabwe due to the Bruce Grobbelaar factor, are away to West Ham.