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Major marathon resumes in South Africa as mass participants run in Cape Town******
CAPE TOWN, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- Cape Town Marathon held its two-day running event on Saturday and Sunday, becoming the first major marathon in South Africa since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is Africa's only World Athletics Gold Label marathon. In August, World Marathon Majors (WMM) announced that the competition has officially been confirmed as WMM's first candidate race in Africa.
The Cape Town Marathon will be required to meet certain criteria for three years from 2022 before joining an elite group of races -- Tokyo Marathon, Boston Marathon, London Marathon, Berlin Marathon, Chicago Marathon and New York City Marathon -- as a new WMM member in 2025.
About 10,000 participants joined the race on Sunday, where they ran past attractions including the statue of former South African President Nelson Mandela standing at a balcony of the city hall, where the Nobel Peace Prize laureate made a speech after he was released from prison in 1990.
South Africa's Stephen Mokoka, the only South African athlete to have broken 60 minutes in the half marathon on a legal course, won the title for the second time in two hours, 10 minutes and one second after winning the 2018 race, while Kenya's Lydia Simiyu won the women's championship in her debut in the marathon in 02:25:44.
To mitigate the COVID-19 risk, this year's competition introduced mandatory antigen testing for all runners and crew, a smaller race field and a staggered race start with small groups for better physical distancing.
The organizers also altered the route slightly to avoid front runners intersecting with the back runners in the central business district.
In collaboration with South African trail runner Ryan Sandes, the organizers this year also introduced two new trail runs, with a 46-kilometer route and a 22-kilometer route through iconic Table Mountain National Park, to Cape Town Marathon, and they were held on Saturday.
Virtual running events of five kilometers, 10 kilometers and 21 kilometers were also held on the same day, where participants ran on the route designed by themselves and recorded the time through GPS-enabled smart devices. Enditem
Bodies found in Nepal near lost climbers******
A search team flew out to recover three bodies in a remote corner of Nepal's Himalayas yesterday, close to where a trio of French climbers went missing last month.。
The group were attempting to scale Mingbo Eiger, a 6,000-meter peak near Mount Everest, known in China as Mount Chomolungama, and were last heard from via satellite phone from their camp on October 26.。
Bad weather hampered efforts to find the men and a member of the team trying to locate them last week said they could have been buried under a depth of snow the height of a five-floor building.。
Police inspector Rishi Raj Dhakal said that three bodies had been found in the search area by local mountain guides but it was too early to confirm their identities.。
"A helicopter along with the rescue team of professional mountain guides has been sent to bring those bodies," he said.。
The three young climbers – Thomas Arfi, Louis Pachoud and Gabriel Miloche – were part of an eight-strong expedition. They had split into two groups to tackle different summits.。
The men appeared to have abandoned their summit attempt and turned back when the avalanche hit.。
Climbers have started returning to Nepal after the coronavirus pandemic forced a complete shutdown of its mountaineering industry last year and devastated the tourism-dependent economy.。
Brazil beat Colombia to clinch World Cup berth******
SAO PAULO, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- Lucas Paqueta scored late as Brazil became the first South American team to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup with a 1-0 home victory over Colombia here on Thursday.。
It took the hosts until the 72nd minute to break the deadlock at Sao Paulo's Itaquerao stadium, with Paqueta finishing a slick move that involved Paris Saint-Germain pair Marquinhos and Neymar.。
The latter showed superb vision and skill as he used one deft touch of his left foot to turn Marquinhos' defense-splitting pass into the path of the onrushing Paqueta.。
Squeezed between two defenders, the Lyon midfielder caressed a first-time shot that touched the right glove of goalkeeper David Ospina before flying into the bottom left corner.。
"This is the result of all the hard work we've been putting in," an emotional Paqueta told Brazil's SporTV after the match. "Qualifying for the World Cup was our main objective and we achieved that today.。
"I'm very happy to be living this moment with the Brazilian team and I'm crying tears of joy. I hope to continue performing well for the national team."
Despite starting the game positively, Colombia had only one shot on target and controlled just 36% of possession.。
The result leaves Brazil with 34 points from 12 matches while Colombia have 16 points from 13 outings.。
Reinaldo Rueda's men must beat Paraguay in Barranquilla on Tuesday to stay on course for a third successive World Cup berth.。
Brazil's next match is against Argentina in San Juan, also on Tuesday. Enditem。