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SA title for Lucky
- Updated: May 23, 2011
Central Gauteng’s Lucky Mohale surprised the best of South Africa’s middle distance athletes with a gun-to-tape win in the 2011 SA 10-kilometre road running championships in Germiston on Sunday.
In cool conditions, the 25 year-old bolted from the pack from the gun and after 3km (covered in 8.29 due to the long downhill), Mohale was already 12sec ahead of a bunch around 30 athletes.
The first 5km were a gradual downhill and that, combined with Mohale’s breathtaking attack meant a fast pace to the halfway mark (14:14) with Mohale still holding a 10sec gap on the chasing pack which by now had been whittled down to around 12 athletes including big guns, Steven Mokoka, Kgosi Tsosane, Richard Mavuso, Sibusiso Nzima and Elroy Galant.
The course started to climb just after the 5km mark and there was a sense of urgency in the chasing pack as they sought to close down the leader. Looking to make a move 6.5km into the race, Steven Mokoka was tripped by Gauteng North teammate Kgosi Tsosane. Mokoka hit the tarmac hard, but was up quickly and gave chase to the group, went straight past them and then gradually proceeded to whittle down the lead of Mohale.
Mokoka was able to close the gap from 10 seconds to two between kilometers seven and eight, but the fall and the hard chasing took something out of him. Mohale was able to surge away again and crossed the line in exactly 29 minutes. Mokoka was second in 29.16 with Tsosane rounding out the podium (29.20).
Mohale — fourth at last year’s 10km championships – had planned to attack from the start and the tactic was clearly a good one. ÔÇ£This is how I race,ÔÇØ Mohale said. ÔÇ£I always attack.ÔÇØ Mohale started running in 2002 under the watchful eye of 2004 SA Marathon champion, Johannes Kekana and in the last year his improvements have been dramatic. He won the 2010 SA half-marathon title and clipped two minutes off his best time. He also ran his debut marathon in 2010 clocking a 2:10:35 in Casablanca, Morocco where he finished 5th.
ÔÇ£From now my focus┬á is on the national half-marathon championships in July — I’m the defending champion so I need to do well.
Coming into the race, Mohale had run 29min 22sec 10km (Asics RAC 10km race) a week before the championships and just missed the course record of Shadrack Hoff by┬á three seconds, so he know he was in good shape coming into today’s championships.
Mokoka wasn’t exactly unhappy with his race. ÔÇ£I was supposed to run a half-marathon in Sweden yesterday (Saturday), but I wrote exams on Friday and had a bit of a cold, so I couldn’t go. But I am happy. I am preparing for the 10,000m at IAAF World Championships in August and am doing hard training again. It is also hard to fall and get straight up and try and catch a leader. But I am happy.ÔÇØ
The women’s race was won by Irvette van Blerk who went into the lead after 2km. The Phalula twins went out hard for the first 2km and van Blerk had to hang on, but after that she took control of the race. ÔÇ£I thought they would catch me on the hill (5km), so I just kept my head down and pushed.ÔÇØ
Van Blerk had gone into the race slightly uncertain of her form but in the end she needn’t have worried as she won by almost a minute. The Central Gauteng athlete crossed the line in 34.03 with Lebo Phalula clocking 35.01 and sister Lebogang 35.07.
1 Lucky Mohale CGA 29.00
2 Steven Mokoka AGN 29.16
3 Kgosi Tsosane AGN 29.20
4 Xolisa Tyali CGA 29.22
5 Richard Mavuso AGN 29.25
1 Irvette van Blerk CGA 34.03
2 Lebo Phalula CGA 35.01
3 Lebogang Phalula CGA 35.07
4 Louisa Leballo AGN 35.10
5 Zintle Xiniwe WPA 35.38