Elston Naicker gets third silver for Comrades Marathon despite injuring his knee

Elston Naicker with his wife and son

Elston Naicker with his wife and son

Published Jun 10, 2024


Tongaat runner, Elston Naicker completed his first Comrade's Marathon up-run in 6 hours and 16 minutes; winning his third silver medal.

Naicker, 32, said the start of the Comrades Marathon on Sunday was emotional.

“It’s hard to explain the feeling and you have to be at the start to experience it.”

He said his preparations for the race were good, and he knew he was in better shape than last year. However, he sustained an injury in the week leading up to the run.

“Last Tuesday, while doing my easy run, I slipped and fell on my knee. I knew something was wrong, so I immediately went to the physio for treatment that week, but it did not make much of a difference.

“My race went okay until the 50km mark. After that I continued stopping and walking. The most challenging part was the pain and having to hop on one leg. I felt I was at my weakest in the second half. I will always say this was my worst race. However, I don’t want to blame my race time on this injury. I know I will be back stronger,” said Naicker.

He said he knew a lot of people were expecting more from him.

“I want to apologise because sometimes you can try so hard at something and be so prepared and yet still fail. It's part of the journey and the best way to bounce back is to learn and come back stronger. I definitely want to run next year. I want to see how far under the 6 hours I can go in the down run,” he said.

Naicker thanked his sponsor, Vallabjee Jewellers from Tongaat, Nedbank Running Club, and coach David Ashworth for their support.

His sponsor, Hemant Vallabhjee of Vallabhjee Jewellers, said: “I think his performance was sterling. He had a slight injury on his knee but despite that, he did extremely well. He’s really making Tongaat proud."