Mokoka to spearhead OneRun elite field

 
Updated: May 11, 2017

​Stephen Mokoka will be back to defend his title at the FNB OneRun 12km road race in Cape Town next week, organisers have confirmed.
Mokoka needed every ounce of experience, grit and determination to thwart the challenge of Kenyan athlete Daniel Salel last season, crossing the line just one second clear in a national best of 33:34.
This year he faces a new foreign challenge from another Kenyan athlete, Morris Munene Gachaga, and 18-year-old Ethiopian prospect Walelign Belachew.
Gachaga, who displayed fine form when he won the Paris Half-Marathon in March, hopes to put up a fight against a strong line-up.
“I have heard a lot about the race and am looking forward to racing in Cape Town,” Gachaga said.
“I know the route is flat, fast and conducive to good racing, so I will make sure I am in good shape come race day.
“I know it won’t be easy with Mokoka in the race. He always makes it tough, but I am confident that I can do well.”
Mokoka, meanwhile, will be backed by a formidable local contingent, after South Africa’s elite distance runners worked well together last year to keep the men’s crown on home soil.
He will join the likes of Olympic 5 000m finalist Elroy Gelant, gutsy front runner Lucky Mohale, in-form marathon specialist Desmond Mokgobu and cross country star David Manja.
Soweto-based athlete Namakoe Nkhasi of Lesotho, who dominated the domestic circuit most of last season, is also in the elite line-up.
“I want to defend my title,” said Mokoka, who sharpened up for the race by turning out as one of the pace setters for Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge in Nike’s sub-2 marathon attempt last week.
“Pacing for Eliud showed me that I am in good form. It is important for me to make sure the (OneRun) title stays in South Africa.”
For more information on the third edition of the OneRun race, to be held on May 21, visit www.thecapetown12.com