Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
MOKOKA, CONRAD LEAD SA TEAM AT WORLD CHAMPS
Stephen Mokoka and Nolene Conrad led the national men’s and women’s squads in tough conditions in Guiyang on Saturday, as they battled on a muddy course at the World Cross Country Championships.
Mokoka started well but ran conservatively, never challenging up front as he settled for 29th position in the senior men’s 12km race in 37:14.
“The conditions were fine for me, but it was a very tough course. Otherwise everything was good,” Mokoka said after the race.
World half-marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor secured the gold medal in 34:52, tearing away from fellow Kenyan Bedan Muchiri in the closing stages to win by eight seconds.
National trials winners Precious Mashele was 38th, Gladwin Mzazi ended 42nd and veteran Shadrack Hoff, who will compete in the Two Oceans ultra-marathon next week, finished 50th, as the SA squad took ninth overall in the team competition.
In the senior women’s 8km race, Lebo Phalula and Nolene Conrad got off to an explosive start, but they were unable to stick with the relentless pace of the East African contingent.
Conrad held on to finish a respectable 36th, a vast improvement on her 79th place in Bydgoszcz two years ago, completing the course in 29:05.
Agnes Tirop of Kenya controlled the entire race, producing a brave effort to win in 26:02.
Phalula was 46th, 20-year-old Annie Bothma finished 48th and national 10km champion Lorraine Novela ended 62nd, with the SA team trailing home in 12th position.
Creel Chavalala was the top South African in the junior men’s race, grabbing 43rd spot in the 8km event in 26:03, after the team had been affected by visa issues on the eve of the championships, with SA trials winner Ikageng Gaorekwe left behind.
Rowhaldo Ratz, who had arrived the day before the event after a delay with his visa, settled for 97th position.
Simone Weitsz was the top South African in the junior women’s 6km race, ending 57th in 22:55, with the team finishing 14th overall.
* See full results in our Results section