Mokoka out-runs South Africa’s best to win Nedbank half-marathon champs

2008-07-06 00:00

STEPHEN Mokoka out-ran South Africa’s best road racers to win the Nedbank SA Half-marathon Championships in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

The race was led out at a blistering pace by Olympic marathon hopefuls Hendrick Ramaala and Norman Dlomo, who covered the first three kilometres in 11 minutes 20 seconds.

Turning into a gentle but nagging headwind, the pace dropped to 2:55 per kilometre allowing a sextet of contenders to close on the leaders.

With track stars Boy Soke, Tshamano Setone and Mokoka in the bus it was clear the race was going to be fast and only determined in the final quarter.

Dlomo led through 10 km in 29:16 and, despite several surges, was unable to prize himself free.

At 15 km, Dlomo and Mokoka went to the front.

Ramaala was the only athlete able to respond when the Vaal Triangle’s Makoka utilised his 5 000-metre speed to hit the front for the final downhill sprint to the stadium.

The 23-year-old had a lead of 60 metres as he rounded the track to take the title in 62:04, setting the fastest South African half-marathon time this year.

Ramaala showed excellent fitness prior in his Beijing build-up to finish second in 62:16, holding off this year’s 5 000 metre Champion, Boy Soke, who took third.

Mokoka, who is better known for his track and cross country exploits, earned his first national title.

Namibian Helaria Johannes completely dominated the ladies’ race leading from the gun to the tape in 70 minutes 59 seconds with Western province’s Zintle Xiniwe, taking the championship title in a total time of 73:02.

Men

1 Stephen Mokoka AVT 62:04

2 Hendrik Ramaala CGA 62:16

3 Boy Soke FS 62:18

4 Tshamano Setone CGA 62:26

5 Amos Mahindi MrP KZN 62:43

6 Norman Dlomo AVT 63:01

KZN Athletes

19th Thubalethu Phaku 65:14

33 Elmore Sibanda Boxer 66:20

40 Richard Nene Boxer 66:54

Women

1 Helaria Johannes Boxer (NAM) 70:59 NR

2 Zintle Xiniwe WP 73:02

3 Sharon Tavengwa Varsity (ZIM) 73:41

4 Tabitha Tsatsa Zim(Boxer) 74:15

KZN Athletes

26th Maya Lawrie 82:13

27 Daniela Adlam 82:14

32 Cary Ann Cave 83:24

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