Mokoka in search of third Shangai victory

Updated: October 29, 2016

Stephen Mokoka will target his third Shanghai Marathon victory on Sunday (photo credit:

Two of South Africa’s top road runners will compete at the Shanghai Marathon in China on Sunday, with Stephen Mokoka aiming to reclaim the men’s title and Mapaseka Makhanya eager to prove she has overcome multiple injury concerns.

Mokoka, who won in Shanghai in 2013 and 2014, finished second last year in a personal best 2:07:40, clocking the fastest time by a South African marathon runner in nine years.

He has a tough battle on his hands this weekend, however, as he lines up against a handful of formidable international athletes at the IAAF Gold Label race.

He faces the likes of Ethiopian Markos Geneti, who set his career best of 2:04:54 in Dubai four years ago, and Kenyan Asbel Kipsang, who was sixth at the Seoul Marathon in March in 2:07:40.

Makhanya, who set her personal best of 2:31:02 in Hannover last year, went on to finish fourth in her first attempt at the Shanghai race in 2:37:21.

She has struggled to find her best form this season, however, and after shaking off various niggles, she will look to bounce back at the prestigious event.

She faces a field spearheaded by defending champion Rael Kiyara of Kenya, who won the 2016 race in 2:26:23, and last year’s runner-up Letebrhan Haylay of Ethiopia, who won the Rotterdam Marathon in April in 2:26:15.

Five women in the line-up have dipped under 2:26:00 in their careers.