Legend of Tanzanian marathon runner Akhwari: Winning is not everything

Rhodesia’s Mathias Kanda runs alongside a moving train between Gwelo and Selukwe during training for the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games. Mamo Waldo won the Olympics gold while Tanzanian John Stephen Akhwari finished last, but will be remembered for bravely battling through a bad fall to cross the line bloodied and battered. PHOTO | FILE |

What you need to know:

  • Worse for wear, the badly injured runner came in last at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics games, over an hour after all other runners had crossed the finishing. His brave ‘victory’ captured the imagination of the world and his home nation.
  • The starting field of the Mexico ’68 marathon featured 75 runners.
  • Of these, 18 would drop out as the altitude took its toll.

In the countdown to the sound of the starting gun of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, we return to the story of John Stephen Akhwari.


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