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Josia Thugwane

Full name: Josia Thugwane
Gender: Male
Height: 5-2 (158 cm)
Weight: 99 lbs (45 kg)
Born: April 15, 1971 in Bethal, Mpumalanga, South Africa
Country: RSA South Africa
Sport: Athletics

Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)


Josia Thugwane ran his first marathon in 1991, but his big breakthrough came when he won the 1995 Honolulu Marathon. Only a few months before the 1996 Atlanta Olympics Thugwane was carjacked and shot, although the bullet only grazed his chin, but he injured his back trying to escape. Through medical care and rehab he was able to run in Atlanta.

In the Atlanta Olympic marathon, a large pack remained together until at 35 km, when Thugwane, [Lee Bong-Ju] from South Korea, and [Eric Wainaina] of Kenya, separated themselves from the field. They stayed together until entering the stadium, when Thugwane took a slight lead, and outran Lee to win by three seconds, the closest Olympic marathon finish ever to that date.

Thugwane had a successful year in 1997, winning the Fukuoka Marathon, but struggled after that year with only one exception. He failed to finish in three successive marathons, and finished only 20th in the 2000 Sydney Olympic marathon. He also did not finish at both 2001 and 2003 World Championships marathon, but did win the 2002 Nagano Marathon.

Personal Best: Mar – 2-07:28 (1997).


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1996 Summer 25 Atlanta Athletics Men's Marathon South Africa RSA 1 Gold
2000 Summer 29 Sydney Athletics Men's Marathon South Africa RSA 20

Men's Marathon

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1996 Summer 25 Atlanta Athletics South Africa Final Standings 1 2-12:36
2000 Summer 29 Sydney Athletics South Africa Final Standings 20 2-16:59
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