Mokoka victorious in OneRun

2016-05-19 06:00
In his 12km debut, South Africa’s Stephen Mokoka showed the international contingent and the top three from 2015, Emmanuel Bett, Daniel Salel and Timothy Toroitich, a clean pair of heals at the 2016 FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN that took place in the Mother City today (Sunday, 15 May 2016). Seen here: Mokoka claiming victory in Bree Street Cape Town in an impressive time of 33 minutes 34 seconds. PHOTO: Tobias Ginsberg

In his 12km debut, South Africa’s Stephen Mokoka showed the international contingent and the top three from 2015, Emmanuel Bett, Daniel Salel and Timothy Toroitich, a clean pair of heals at the 2016 FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN that took place in the Mother City today (Sunday, 15 May 2016). Seen here: Mokoka claiming victory in Bree Street Cape Town in an impressive time of 33 minutes 34 seconds. PHOTO: Tobias Ginsberg

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In his debut run over 12km, South Africa’s Stephen Mokoka showed the international contingent and the top three finishers from 2015, Emmanuel Bett, Daniel Salel and Timothy Toroitich, a clean pair of heals at the 2016 FNB Cape Town 12 OneRun that took place in the Mother City on Sunday 15 May.

Some 13 000 runners lined up in Marine Drive next to Woodbridge Island for the second running of the FNB Cape Town 12 OneRun. As in 2015, conditions were near perfect with the temperature sitting on 12 degrees.

A frenetic start saw the first kilometre being covered in 02:41. When the lead bunch of fifteen athletes went through three kilometres in 08:17, it was clear that the chase for the world best time of 33:31 was on the cards. Defending champion Emmanuel Bett of Kenya and country man Daniel Salel, were driving the lead bus with Mokoka and Elroy Gelant in close attendance.

Both Gelant and Mokoka had made it very clear before the race that they were intent on making sure that the winner’s purse stayed on home soil.

The five kilometre mark came just inside the harbour grounds as the athletes turned off Marine Drive, passing in 13:55. Once in the harbour, it was Bett who started to turn the screws to try and shake off the South African challenge, with Salel on his shoulder.

Mokoka and Gelant were having none of it and as the athletes hit 8km, Mokoka and Gelant made the break, with Salel the only athlete to follow the South Africans.

The nine kilometre mark was reached in 25:11. Salel, Mokoka and Gelant turned into Bree Street simultaneously for the final kilometre.

Gelant fell off with 800m to go. Salel and Mokoka raced neck and neck to the line with Mokoka edging the Kenyan by one second, coming home in 33:34 to the 33:35 of Salel.

With that Mokoka shattered the previous record of Mathews ‘Loop ‘n Val’ Motshwarateu by 49 seconds and missed out on the world best time of 31:33 by a mere three seconds.

“It was a hard race”, said Mokoka afterwards.

“Salel pushed my right to the line but I am happy that we won the race for South Africa. Elroy (Gelant) and I worked together and were talking to each other the whole way. So I am happy we were able to work as a team.”

Mokoka has been adamant that South Africa has the ability to take the race to the Kenyans if they work as a team. “I wanted the win first,” Mokoka went on to say of breaking the SA best time of Motshwarateu (34:23), “but the record is a big bonus.”

The bonus was worth an additional R10 000 to Mokoka over and above the R40 000 for first prize.

In the women’s race, Irvette Van Zyl was first across the line. While most expected that, Van Zyl had been battling with the flu for close on a week and almost withdrew after four kilometres in. “It was hard. I felt really bad and wanted to just stop.”

Van Zyl hung on though and despite feeling out of sorts went into the lead after seven kilometres and was never headed.

“When Lebogang went through the firsttwo kilometres in six minutes I was hanging on as best I could. I do not know how I was able to just stick it out. I am very surprised by the win.”

Van Zyl was originally planning on chasing the SA best time of Elana Meyer (38:39), but having just recovered from flu she set her sights on the win crossing the finish line in 39:40.

Results:

Men:

1. Stephen Mokoka - 00:33:34

2. Daniel Salel - 00:33:35

3. Elroy Gelant - 00:33:42

4. Sibusiso Nzima - 00:34:08

5. Sibabalwe Gladwin Mzazi - 00:34:09

Women:

1. Irvette van Zyl - 00:39:40

2. Lebo Phalula - 00:40:10

3. Rutendo Nyahora - 00:40:31

4. Lebogang Phalula - 00:41:14

5. Christine Kalmer - 00:41:32

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