Nedbank Running Club Athletes Set to Aim for Olympic Qualification

This weekend, all eyes will be on the Durban International Marathon as athletes from across the continent gather to vie for Olympic qualification. Among them, Namibia’s very own Rainhold Tomas and Simon Paulus, representing the Nedbank Running Club, are gearing up for the showdown.

Organized by the Phantane Athletics Clubs, the marathon scheduled for Sunday, April 28, 2024, will feature grueling 42-kilometer and 10-kilometer races.

This year’s edition doubles up as the 2024 Athletics South Africa (ASA) National 42.2km Championships and serves as an official qualifier for events like the Comrades and Two Oceans marathons.

Tomas, a seasoned long-distance runner, brings a wealth of experience, having previously represented the country in competitions like the Olympics and Commonwealth Games. Under the banner of the Namibia Correctional Service domestically and the Nedbank Running Club internationally, Tomas has honed his skills, recently clocking an impressive time of 1:05:59 at the Kazungula Bridge Half Marathon in Botswana. With a personal best of 02:02:21 achieved in Siena, Italy, Tomas is laser-focused on clinching a spot at the Olympics once again.

In a recent statement, Tomas expressed his optimism, saying, “So far training is going well, and I am looking forward to the competition. I know it’s not going to be an easy event, but I am going to give it my best to run an Olympic qualifying time.” Injury-free and determined, Tomas aims to soar past the qualifying mark of 02:08:10 for male athletes, set for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Joining Tomas in the pursuit of Olympic glory is Simon Paulus, making his marathon debut this weekend. Transitioning from short-distance track events to the grueling marathon, Paulus has devoted three months of rigorous training in preparation for this milestone. With a commendable half-marathon time of 1:02:51 achieved at the Nelson Mandela Bay Half Marathon in 2022, Paulus is eager to challenge himself in the marathon arena.

“I have been training for three months for this marathon, and I feel ready to compete in my first marathon. Probably I will run an Olympics qualifying time so I can represent my country at the Olympics,” Paulus remarked. Alongside teammates Jeremia Shaliaxwe and Paulus Iyambo, Paulus is determined to leave his mark at the Durban International Marathon.

For individual events at the Paris 2024 Olympics, a maximum of three athletes per National Olympic Committee (NOC) will be eligible to qualify.

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