Another great effort by SA marathoner Mokoka

2009-10-26 00:00

SOUTH African half-marathon and 10-km champion Stephen Mokoka was edged into second spot by Britain’s Mo Farah in yesterday’s Great South Run in Portsmouth.

Farah, Britain’s leading cross country and 10 000-m athlete, was stepping up to the 16,09 km distance and spent much of the race dicing with the South African, but was awarded a one-second advantage at the finish to take honours in 46 minutes 25 seconds.

Mokoka has had an impressive season and was the country’s top finisher, in eighth place, at the World Half-Marathon Championships in Birmingham earlier this month.

Rene Kalmer and marathoner Tanith Maxwell finished fourth and 13th respectively in the women’s race, which was won by Ines Monteiro.

The Portuguese athlete, who set a personal best 10 000-m time of 31min 25,67sec in Berlin in August and improved her 15-km time last month, was again on form and despite the headwind in the final two kilometres was able to open a massive 450-m lead over the quality field to take the tape in 52:32.

Ana Felix was second in 53:58 with 2004 Great South winner Benita Willis of Australia third in 54:41 and 30 seconds ahead of Kalmer, who is South Africa’s leading half-marathoner.

A fast start by Maxwell took her through 5 km in 17:22, but she was unable to maintain the pace and had to settle for a time of 58:58.

“The wind was unbelievable. It was like running backwards, I had to dig very deep. My last kilometres were over four minutes,” said the Kloof-based athlete from Portsmouth last night.

“Of course I’m disappointed with the weather, but it was a great experience and I’m looking forward to more racing over here.”

South Africans have a good record in the event, which attracts 21 000 runners and was won by Gert Thys in 2000, and Hendrick Ramaala in his New York Marathon build-up in 2004.


Men: 1 Mo Farah 46:25, 2 Stephen Mokoka 46:26, 3 Luke Kibet 47:16, 4 Scott Overall 48:00, 5 Moumin Geele 48:00

Women: 1 Ines Monteiro 52:32, 2 Ana Dulce Felix 53:58, 3 Benita Willis 54:41, 4 Rene Kalmer 55:11, 5 Catherine Ndereba 55:28, … 13th Tanith Maxwell 58:58

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