Mokoka, Kalmer on top | TeamSA - TeamSA

Mokoka, Kalmer on top

Undoubtedly two of our most multi-talented athletes, Stephen Mokoka and Rene Kalmer swept to victory in the Lotto ASA half-marathon championships in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

Mokoka who excels over anything from 1500m to the marathon, won in 62min 07sec to beat Xolisa Tyali into second spot, writes Mark Etheridge.

The Athletics Gauteng North athlete had a comfortable 36-second victory margin over his Central Gauteng opponent.

In third space was national 10km champion Lucky Mohale, also of Central Gauteng, in 63:04 with yet another CGA athlete in fourth spot, Jeffrey Gwebu (63:10).

In the women’s race Rene Kalmer put a wretched period of injury behind her to win yet another national title, this time in 72.59. Kalmer has national titles across the athletics spectrum ÔÇô 800, 1500m, 5000, 10,000m on the track, as well as cross-country and road titles but this one will mean something very special.

Reason being that since the Two Oceans half-marathon in Cape Town in April she’s been hamstrung by a giggly ITB (knee) injury. It bothered her during the Prague marathon where she was fifth and was forced to pull out of the Spar women’s 10km race in Durban recently before the halfway mark.

“I’m really grateful for the win, I wanted it badly,” she told Road to London 2012. “Luckily the ITB behaved itself. Will continue with my intense rehab and treatment. Only eight weeks to World Champs now, getting very excited.

“I’m very happy for the win. It was freezing this morning and I just got very nauseous at 15km and 18km.” That nausea will now be long forgotten as she celebrates her latest success.

Runner-up in Port Elizabeth was Western Province’s Zintle Xiniwe in 73:15. Annerien van Schalkwyk, like Kalmer a member of Team SA for the marathon at world champs later this year, took third in 73:58.