Stephen Mokoka

Updated: January 17, 2013

Event: Men’s Long Distances
Date of birth: 1985/01/31
Personal bests: 3 000m (7:55.92), 5 000m (13:11.44, SA record), 10 000m (27:40.73), 10km (27:38, SA record), Half-Marathon (1:00:47), Marathon (2:07:40)
Major achievements:
10 000 Metres: 2007 World Student Games, Bangkok (3rd, final); 2011 World Student Games, Shenzhen (2nd, final); 2011 World Championships, Daegu (13th, final); 2013 World Student Games, Kazan (1st, final); 2013 World Championships, Moscow (20th, final); 2015 World Championships, Beijing (20th, final); 2015 African Championships, Durban (1st, final); 2016 Olympic Games, Rio (18th, final)
Half-Marathon: 2009 World Championships, Birmingham (8th); 2012 World Championships, Kavarna (8th); 2013 World Student Games, Kazan (2nd); 2014 World Championships, Copenhagen (12th); 2016 World Championships, Cardiff (10th)
Cross Country: 2011 World Championships, Punta Umbria (15th)

Added to his gutsy approach, and a nifty ability to shift gears at will, Stephen Mokoka possesses one of the most frightening kicks in global distance running. At the 2010 national championships in Durban, Mokoka coasted to victory in the men’s 10 000m, and the next day stormed past most of the field on the finishing straight, including Olympic finalist Juan van Deventer, to win the men’s 1 500m final. Mokoka’s resilience has twice seen him finish eighth in the World Half-Marathon Championships, and earn a credible best finish of 15th in five appearances at the World Cross Country Championships. He clocked 2:08:33 to finish fourth at the 2010 Seoul Marathon on his debut over the 42km distance. While he faded in the closing stages to finish 49th in the London Olympic Marathon, Mokoka showed real determination in the first half, giving an indication of his tremendous potential over the classic distance. In 2013, he snatched three medals at the World Student Games in Kazan, including the team half-marathon crown, and capped his season with his first 42km victory at the Shanghai Marathon. In 2014 he defended his Shanghai title, and though he settled for second place in 2015, he set a personal best of 2:07:40 over the classic distance. Despite his success in the marathon, he continued to focus on the track in the 2015 and 2016 campaigns.