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Mokoka makes merry in Great South Run
- Updated: October 29, 2012
South Africa’s London Olympian Stephen Mokoka raced to one of his more prestigious victories yet when he won the Great South Run in Portsmouth, England on Sunday.
Mokoka, who ran the marathon for Team South Africa at the London Olympics a few months ago, clocked 46min 40sec to win the 16-kilometre race.
Always looking in control, Mokoka out kicked Spain’s two-time European cross-country champion Ayam Lamdassem to win by four seconds with Olympic 10,000m bronze medallist Tariku Bekele third in 46:45.
Three years ago Mokoka had ended second behind Britain’s Mo Farrah in this race three years ago. Farrah has since gone on to win a 5000/10,000m track double at the Olympics.
Mokoka is now the third South African to have won the Great South Run, with fellow Olympians Gert Thys (2000) and Hendrick Ramaala (2004) having also won.
Mokoka, preparing to tun the Shanghai Marathon in December, told the official race website: “In 2009 I was outsprinted by Mo by a few metres and disappointed. When I started the race my knees were freezing until between three and four miles. That’s when we started to warm up and could push the pace.
“I am very happy with my run against these guys. You gain confidence from winning races like this. It reminded me of 2009 with the crowds cheering at every point particularly four, six and nine miles.
“It makes you keep pushing hard and on this occasion I got the win. I am very happy and if they invite me again I will definitely come and do the race.”