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MBABANE – It is definitely a respectable finish for Eswatini’s Siyabonga Sikhumbuzo Sihlongonyane in the Beach Marathon.

This past Tuesday, Siyabonga finished in ninth place in a time of 31 minutes and 32 seconds in the ongoing African Beach Games in Tunisia. Sihlongonyane was not too far off as he took an additional three and a half minutes to reach the finish line. The Eswatini runner was able to beat the likes of South Africa’s marathon athlete Teboho John Segalagala, who was a mere 10 seconds slower than Sihlongonyane. Winning was the powerful Adisu Girma Tola of Ethiopia. He was victorious in the men’s 10km marathon, which took him 28 minutes and 52 seconds to complete.“We are very happy about Siyabonga’s top 10 finish. The race was difficult because it was very hot, despite that the race began at 7am,” highlighted Thobile Magagula, who is the Chef de Mission (Head of Delegation).

She also mentioned that the temperatures had quite an effect on their female athlete, Nokuphila Zwane, who suffered from heat exhaustion.  Temperatures in Tunisia can soar up to 50 degrees celsius. Symptoms of heat exhaustion can include dizziness, headache, nausea, muscle cramps and others. Treatment includes removal from the heat, rest and fluids. If untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke, which can be a life-threatening condition. The competition level was quite high in the men’s beach marathon seeing that the champion finished in top eight at World Championships. Meanwhile, in the ladies 10km marathon,  Eswatini’s Nokuphila Zwane finished within the top 20 female athletes. She was able to beat the likes of Admizia Correia Trovoada Dias of Sao Tome and Principe, Anissa Miftahou of Comoros and Florenca Nanque.