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Mokoko defends title

Personal bests from Stephen Mokoka and Annerine van Schalkwyk saw them secure a double triumph at the Nedbank South African half-marathon championships in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

The pressure at the business end of the field quickly split the 10 man bunch down to just Mokoka with the stadium in sight.

Mokoko, the 24-year-old Mafikeng resident who lined up as defending champion didn’t get his 1hr 1min 26sec that easily. “This year’s race was a lot tougher than last year’s race, there was just so many guys that were fit and on form. I didn’t plan today’s race at all Ilooked at each guy’s performance and make my move to suit.

“I have only run four half-marathons since I decided to focus on the distance and I have now lowered my PB from 62:04 to 61:26, my next goal is to get it down to 61 minutes at this year’s IAAF World Road Running Champs in Great Britain,” he said.

Mokoko’s victory, coupled with Van Schalwyk made it a double for Gauteng North Atheltics.

Van Schalkwyk ran the race of her life to take the title in 71:49.

Said the 30-year-old Pretoria based research nurse: “From 10 to eighteen kilometres it was me, Tabitha (Tsatsa), Rene (Kalmer) and Mammorallo (Tjoka) running together, I felt like I was jogging by the 18 km mark I knew that I had to go now and it worked, to say that I am overjoyed is an understatement, I couldn’t have wanted anything more,” she beamed.

Tabitha Tsatsa was second in 72:16 but due to her foreign (Zimbabwe)status, she was not eligible for the national championships. She was replaced on the podium by third women across the line Rene Kalmer who clocked 72:25.

Another international athlete in the form of Lesotho’s Mammorallo Tjoka was fourth, with Poppy Mlambo filling the medal positions with a 74:41 effort.

Tanith Maxwell the sole member of the female marathon squad for next month’s IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Berlin, Germany, finished sixth in 74:52, one place behind her training mate Poppy Mlambo.

Results
Men
Seniors 1 Stephen Mokoka (AGN) 61:26; 2 Lindikhaya Mthangayi (WP) 61:32;
3 Wirimai Juwawo (Temp) 61:38; 4 Sechaba Bonosi (Toy) 61:42; 5 Hendrik
Ramaala (Nedbank) 61:43; 6 Mbongeni Ngaxzozo (Nedbank) 61:47; 7 Lusapho
April (EPA) 61:49; 8 Enos Matalane (AGN) 61:57; 9 Xolisa Tyali (CGA)
61:58; 10 Shadrack Hoff (AGN) 62:05

Juniors 1 Jonathan Chinyoka (CGA) 64:52; 2 Marshall Jaji (Bashewa)
67:14; 3 Sityhilo Diko (GS) 67:38

Veterans 1 Mluleki Nobanda (ATRA) 64:48; 2 Lindile Tokota (ASWD) 68:36;
3 Elgin Mokale (CGA) 68:46

Masters 1 Samuel Mogodi (CGA) 73:28; 2 Vladimir Kotov (WP) 73:59; 3
Jumario Khuzwayo (AMPU) 77:05

Grand Masters 1 Tamsanqa Jusayi (EPA) 81:53; 2 Albertus Bock (WPA)
82:35; 3 Don Charles (CGA) 83:18

Teams

Seniors 1 CGA; 2 AGN; 3 WPA

Veterans 1 CGA; 2 EPA; 3 ASWD

Women

Seniors 1 Annerien van Schalkwyk (AGN) 71:49; 2 Tabitha Tsatsa (Boxer)
72:16; 3 Rene Kalmer (CGA) 72:25; 4 Mamarolla Tjoka (GS) 74:25; 5 Poppy
Mlambo (CGA) 74:41; 6 Tannith Maxwell (KZN) 74:52; 7 Margaret Mahohoma
(CGA) 75:16; 8 Tshifhiwa Mundalamo (CGA) 75:29; 9 Onneile Dintwe
(Nedbank) 75:44; 10 Marelise Retief (AGN) 75:59

Juniors 1 Lusanda Bomvana (ATRA) 79:31; 2 Bathobele Hlazo (Siyanda)
81:07; 3 Elene Lourens (Maties) 84:27

Veterans 1 Maya Lawrie (KZN) 80:11; 2 Michelle Bartman (WP) 81:28; 3
Leanne Finlay (EPA) 82:19

Masters 1 Olga Howard (WP) 89:41; 2 Annatjie Botes (ASWD) 90:17; 3 Magie
Saunders (EPA) 90:50

Grand Masters 1 Liz Ruickbie (CGA) 93:51; 2 Veronica van Niekerk (Bol)
96:13; 3 Elaine Greenblatt (CGA) 96:23

Teams

Seniors 1 AGN; 2 CGA; 3 WPA

Veterans 1 WPA; 2 EPA; 3 CGA

Wheelchairs

Seniors 1 Elford Moyo 64:57; 2 Eugene Klaasen 68:11; 3 Edmund Makutya
69:36; 4 Gerrit Hendriks 79:51; 5 Patrick Saayman 89:38.


2 comments
Tebogo
Tebogo

Congradulations to Steve "Tshepe" Mokoka and Annerien. You are proof that SA has the talent to take on the world.

Sibusiso Nzima
Sibusiso Nzima

I take out my hat 4rm my head for a young Stephen Mokoka he is our national promising athlete and I wish him all the best to his career. from his competitor Sibusis Nzima.