Namibia’s Helalia Johannes won a historic women’s marathon on the final day of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast on Sunday, becoming the first Namibian woman to win a Commonwealth title in any sport.
Helalia Johannes is the second gold medallist for Namibia in Commonwealth Games athletics, the other being sprinters Frank Frederick, winner of the 200m in Victoria in 1994.
The 37-year-old was 12th in the marathon at the London 2012 Olympic Games in her national record time of 2:26:09 and 19th at last year’s World Championships in London.
Kenya’s Sheila Jerotich, Australian pair Lisa Weightman and Jess Trengove, and Namibia’s Helalia Johannes were together just beyond 35 kilometres when Jerotich surged clear.
Within a few hundred metres of seemingly seizing control of the race, however, she slowed just as dramatically, eventually finishing fourth. At much the same point, Trengove started to lose contact and Johannes pulled clear of Weightman.
Johannes continued to build her lead and went on to win in 2:32:40, 43 seconds ahead of Aussie Weightman, with Trengove third in 2:34:09.