J.P. Morgan’s Marc Hussey (left) and former Kaiser Chief and South African International soccer star Lucas Radebe (right) congratulate Coolboy Ngamole (center) after he earned the men’s individual crown in Johannesburg on March 30. Coolboy’s effort paved the way for Sibanye Gold to win the men’s team title.
Sibanye Gold has done something only one other company has done in the history of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Johannesburg – win two team titles in one year.
Sibanye, the largest individual producer of gold from South Africa, earned the men’s and women’s team titles at the 2017 Corporate Challenge at the Wanderers Club, held on Thursday, March 30. The only other company to ever win multiple team titles in Johannesburg is Transnet Rail Engineering.
Standard Bank won the 2017 mixed team title, its first team victory in Johannesburg since earning the women’s crown in 2007.
The men’s victory by Sibanye Gold was quite impressive, as its winning time of 1:16:20 topped its nearest competitor by more than eight minutes. The men’s individual winner Coolboy Ngamole led the way with a time of 18:10. He was ably supported by Olebogeng Masire (18:47), Fanzo Ndlovu (19:35), and Ntiti Konana (19:48). Sibanye, showing its depth, also had the second-place team (1:24:37) while Assore Limited was a solid third (1:32:11).
The winning Sibanye women’s team proved that you don’t need four high finishers to win a Corporate Challenge team title. The highest individual Sibanye women’s finish was fourth overall and it only had two women in the top 20 overall, but it still took home the women’s team crowd through the excellent efforts of Puseletso Thiane (23:57), Puseletso Maema (24:15), Zivanda Sehohle (26:25) and Cathrine Naane (27:57).
Dimension Data was the women’s runner-up in 1:53:04 while Standard Bank was third in 1:58:43.
The winning mixed Standard Bank team was comprised of Marcus Crowther (19:56), Glynn Allen (22:54), Nomagugu Moyo (25:03), and Harriet Msimango (27:50). Their collective time of 1:35:43 over the 3.5-mile (5.6km) race course held off second-place team Norton Rose Fulbright (1:43:40) and third-place finisher Liberty (1:44:51).
Sibanye Gold and Standard Bank have both qualified for the 2018 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Championship, location and date to be determined. The 2017 Championship – featuring the 2016 first-place teams from all 13 cities in the Corporate Challenge Series – is scheduled for Tuesday, June 13 in Frankfurt, Germany.
While Sibanye’s “double” was impressive, it still has some room to make up if it wants to catch Transnet in terms of all-time production at the Johannesburg event. Transnet (and its predecessor firm Transwerk) have won 18 overall Corporate Challenge team titles (11 in the men’s division, 5 in the women, and 2 in mixed). Transnet most recently won the men’s and women’s titles in 2015 and swept all three divisions in 2013.
Sibanye Gold picked up some other bragging rights in 2016, however, winning the overall men’s title at the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Championship in New York’s Central Park. Ngamole was the men’s individual champ in that event too.
The 14th running of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Johannesburg featured a sold-out crowd of 13,500 runners and walkers from 268 companies and served as a benefit and awareness-builder for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.