Josia Thugwane

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Josia Thugwane
Personal information
NationalitySouth Africa
Born (1972-04-14) 14 April 1972 (age 48)
Bethal, Mpumalanga
Sport
SportTrack and field
Event(s)Marathon

Josia Thugwane (born 15 April 1971) is a South African long-distance runner, best known for winning the gold medal in the marathon at the 1996 Summer Olympics. Thugwane, who is of Ndebele heritage, is the first black athlete to earn an Olympic gold for South Africa.

Born in Bethal, Thugwane ran his first marathon in 1991, but his breakthrough to the international athletics scene came in 1995, when he won the Honolulu Marathon.

Just five months before the Games commenced, Thugwane was carjacked and shot; the bullet grazed his chin, leaving an inch-long scar, and he injured his back as a result of jumping from his moving car. The coalmine that employed him paid for his medical care and rehabilitation.[1]

At Atlanta, in the 1996 Olympic marathon, a large leading pack stayed in contact with each other for most of the race, until at the 35 km mark when Thugwane initiated a break away and he along with Lee Bong-Ju from South Korea and Erick Wainaina from Kenya. They stayed together until entering the stadium, when Thugwane got a slight lead. Thugwane finished three seconds ahead of Lee for the closest Olympic marathon finish ever.

Thugwane had a very successful year in 1997 by winning the Fukuoka Marathon and he won the AIMS Best Marathon Runner Award that year. After that point his career performance dipped. He failed to finish in three successive marathons, and finished only twentieth in the 2000 Sydney Olympic marathon despite top ten finishes in the New York Marathon and London Marathon that year. In 2002 he won the Nagano Olympic Memorial Marathon in Japan.

He was awarded the Silver Order of Ikhamanga, South Africa's second highest cultural honour, in 2011.[2]

Statistics[edit]

International competition record[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  South Africa
1992 Potsdam–Berlin Ekiden PotsdamBerlin, Germany 3rd 5K (4th leg) 14:07
? Team
1995 World Half Marathon Championships MontbéliardBelfort, France 5th Half marathon 1:02:28
12th Team 3:12:40
1996 Olympic Games Atlanta, United States 1st Marathon 2:12:36
2000 Olympic Games Sydney, Australia 20th Marathon 2:16:59
2001 World Championships Edmonton, Canada Marathon DNF
2002 World Half Marathon Championships Brussels, Belgium 30th Half marathon 1:03:39
4th Team 3:07:29
2003 World Championships Paris, France Marathon DNF

Professional races[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
1993 Tiberias Marathon Tiberias, Israel 3rd Marathon 2:18:42
Pretoria Marathon Pretoria, South Africa 1st Marathon 2:15:57
Honolulu Marathon Honolulu, United States 13th Marathon 2:29:16
1994 Gyeongju International Marathon Gyeongju, South Korea 28th Marathon 2:24:52
Chicago Marathon Chicago, United States Marathon DNF
1995 Honolulu Marathon Honolulu, Hawaii 1st Marathon 2:16:08
New York City Marathon New York City, United States Marathon DNF
1996 Fukuoka Marathon Fukuoka, Japan Marathon DNF
1997 Fukuoka Marathon Fukuoka, Japan 1st Marathon 2:07:28
London Marathon London, United Kingdom 3rd Marathon 2:08:06
1998 London Marathon London, United Kingdom Marathon DNF
New York City Marathon New York City, United States Marathon DNF
Great Scottish Run Glasgow, United Kingdom 2nd Half marathon 1:02:47
Great North Run South Shields, United Kingdom 1st Half marathon 1:02:32
1999 London Marathon London, United Kingdom Marathon DNF
Great Scottish Run Glasgow, United Kingdom 3rd Half marathon 1:03:01
Great North Run South Shields, United Kingdom 17th Half marathon 1:05:42
Fukuoka Marathon Fukuoka, Japan 26th Marathon 2:17:01
2000 London Marathon London, United Kingdom 8th Marathon 2:10:29
New York City Marathon New York City, United States 6th Marathon 2:15:25
Great Scottish Run Glasgow, United Kingdom 10th Half marathon 1:04:32
Lisbon Half Marathon Glasgow, United Kingdom 11th Half marathon 1:05:29
2001 Seoul International Marathon Seoul, South Korea 2nd Marathon 2:11:52
Honolulu Marathon Honolulu, United States Marathon DNF
2002 Nagano Marathon Nagano, Japan 1st Marathon 2:13:23
Two Oceans Half Marathon Cape Town, South Africa 1st Half marathon 1:04:15
JoongAng Seoul Marathon Seoul, South Korea 7th Marathon 2:10:05
2003 Nagano Marathon Nagano, Japan 2nd Marathon 2:14:18
Göteborgsvarvet Gothenburg, Sweden 3rd Half marathon 1:04:14
2004 Milano City Marathon Milan, Italy Marathon DNF
2005 Vienna City Marathon Vienna, Austria Marathon DNF
Honolulu Marathon Honolulu, United States Marathon DNF
2006 Two Oceans Marathon Cape Town, South Africa 56K DNF
Warsaw Marathon Warsaw, Poland 4th Marathon 2:17:11
2007 Two Oceans Marathon Cape Town, South Africa 2nd 56K 3:09:46

National titles[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "In Marathon, First Gold Medal Won by Black South African". The New York Times. 1996-08-05. Archived from the original on 2008-05-07. Retrieved 2008-08-24.
  2. ^ Zuma honours recipients of National Orders. SA News (2011-04-28). Retrieved 2020-05-23.

External links[edit]