Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
MOKOKA SHATTERS SA 12KM BEST
Stephen Mokoka defeated a world-class field on Sunday, edging out Kenyan Daniel Salel in a sprint for the line at the FNB OneRun 12km race in Cape Town.
The South African contingent did well to dominate the race against a quality international line-up which included last year’s winner Emmanuel Bett of Kenya and Ugandan athlete Timothy Toroitich.
With Bett and Salel pushing the pace up front for most of the race, Mokoka was joined by Elroy Gelant, Sibusiso Nzima, Gladwin Mzazi and Lucky Mohale in the lead group, with the local athletes sitting back in the pack before launching a late attack.
Mokoka held off Salel to win by one second in 33:34, just three seconds outside the world best of 33:31.
He smashed the SA best, however, lowering Matthews Motshwarateu’s 28-year-old mark by 49 seconds to pocket a R10 000 bonus on top of his R40 000 first prize.
Salel grabbed the runner-up spot for the second year in succession, while Gelant took third place in 33:41 after slipping off the pace during the long downhill sprint in the closing stages.
Irvette van Zyl controlled the women’s race, as was expected, with the in-form athlete overcoming a bout of flu to secure a convincing victory in ideal conditions on the fast, flat course.
She crossed the line in 39:40, and though she was 51 seconds outside Elana Meyer’s 17-year-old national best, Van Zyl crossed the line well clear of Lebo Phalula who finished second in 40:10.
Rutendo Nyahora of Zimbabwe took third position in 40:31.
* Full results are available in our Results section