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Zithulele Sinqe dies in accident

Zithulele Sinqe, South Africa’s former premier marathoner has died as the result of a car accident on Thursday.

Mandla Radebe, the general manager of Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA), said on Friday that Sinqe, 48, had been involved in a motor vehicle accident in Balfour, where he worked after forming a development athletics club in the area.

“Sinqe was a member of the CGA commission, so this is a big loss to the province and to the sport of athletics,” Radebe said.

Sinqe, a coach and television commentator over the last few years, will be remembered for his titanic battles with Willie Mtolo, Matthews Temane and Xolile Yawa during South Africa’s golden era of road running, shortly before the country’s return from isolation.

He was crowned SA marathon champion in 1986 with what was then the fifth fastest time in history, clocking 2:08.04 in Port Elizabeth to hold off Mtolo, a future New York marathon champion, by 11 seconds.

The following year Temane pipped Sinqe on the line to win the SA half-marathon title, with both runners clocking 1:00.11 – a world best time for the distance which stood for 10 years before Kenya’s Shem Kororia ran 59:56 in Kosice in 1997.

In the twilight of his career, Sinqe turned his focus towards ultra-marathon races, winning the 56km Two Oceans marathon in 1996 and 1997.

I recall bumping into Zet in 1996 when he made his comeback and it was simply great to talk to the man before winning the Two Oceans – Rest in Peace …  TheEd

Memorial Service for Zithulele will be held on Thursday 29th December at 2.00pm at the Braamfontein Recreation Centre in Joburg

Comments

  1. We lost one of the greatest heroes in Zithulele. May his soul rest in soul and our sincere condolonces to his entire family members.

  2. Donald Gabriel Nyirenda says:

    A true friend and a mentor. You were there for me all times since we met at Goldfields in 1997 untill I spoke to you on 2011/12/18 for the last time. We trained and mentored young people in Gauteng and Freestate. I sorely gona miss you for the kind of a person you were. May your soul rest in peace

  3. Yes, I agree, I raced against him once or twice (well, tried) and saw first hand was a great athlete he was. A truly inspirational and grat athlete. We will all miss him sorely. RIP Zithulele.

  4. victor radebe says:

    He was great athlete and SA has not produced such talent, save for the likes of Ramala

  5. Stan Itshegetseng says:

    Personally as a friend and comrade whom we fought side by side in the war to transform athletics in particular, you have left me alone in the trenches of the battle for true transformation. I assure you, your legacy will live on and in these trenches of fight for transformation some one will pick your spear and continue to lead the direction that athletics should take. Take would know that you fought tooth and nail to bring Road Championship events in this country after a long lull of these. Your vision on sport politics was way ahead of all us. I will miss you my compatriot, fellow combatant and Comrade and coach. You lead from the back and never played to the gallery. A smart dresser note and a person with an extreme sense of humor yet very tenacious direct and viscous when under threat. Your had few races, yet they all memorable, and you choose them well. I sure you will join the other great children of the soil and your name will forever be written in history books. Hamba Gahle Mpondomise. Over look our Olympic as your enter the ancestral world. Amandla.

  6. yvonne whiting says:

    He was a friend and most of all a comedian. Everywhere he was we were laughfing. He was an excellent runner, coach, and a father who loved his children,he was very happy of their educational achievement .He will always be missed dearly. May yo. Soul rest in peace Buti

  7. Sue Ullyett says:

    Your presence, commentating style and huge smile will be sorely missed at Two Oceans. Thoughts and prayers are with your family and friends during this very sad time.

  8. words cant describe how i feel there was so many things that was unsaid our friendship was at the point where it started to grow the jokes fights happines parties we wil surely miss it ive got so many why 4 u but i wnt have answer im so broken my friend your place wil b 4 eva empty Zinhle your father was very proud of u guys your achievements and great responsible adults u turned out 2 he was very proud continue making your father the proud guy that he was over u guys RIP Mpondomse

  9. Ze! we will miss your presence, jokes and smile. I knew you for a very short while but there was no dull moment when you are around.

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