Fokoroni slams sponsor pressure

Mike Fokoroni, the highest-placed Zimbabwean at the Comrades Marathon last weekend, believes he could have done better had it not been pressure from sponsors.

He was the first Zimbabwean home after 5hr 50 min 18 sec – 18 minutes later than the eventual winner of the Ultimate Human Race, South Africa’s Claude Moshiyiwa. He finished two minutes ahead of compatriot and 10th-placed three-time champion, Stephen Muzhingi in the annual race run between Pietermaritzburg and Durban.

“Since it was my second Comrades Marathon participation, I think I did not do that bad and am happy with my achievement, but I still believed I would have done better under different circumstances,” he told The Zimbabwean.

While not hiding his celebrity hood, Fokoroni said he would have finished in a higher position had it not been for the insistence of his club’s sponsors for him and his teammates to don their footwear.

Fokoroni is among a number of Zimbabwean athletes sponsored by South African firm, Maxed Elite, formerly known as Mr Price Athletics Club.“Our club forced everyone to use the Maxed Elite shoes, which were not that comfortable with some of us,” he added.

“I ended up with blisters. I believe the shoes were the reason why most runners from Mr Price did not perform well. Nonetheless, I am content with eighth position. It was through determination that I finished as high as that,” said the athlete, who is preparing for his next race scheduled for September.

Fokoroni, in finishing eighth, outperformed a list of Zimbabwean athletes, among them Muzhingi and Moses Njodzi, who were favourites ahead of the 87 kilometre race.

Post published in: Athletics

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