It was a job well done as Stephen Mokoka successfully defended his ASA half-marathon title in Port Elizabeth at the weekend, while Janet Mbhele earned her maiden 21.1-kilometre crown.
Representing Athletics Gauteng North, Mokoka won a fast men’s race in 1hr 01min 44sec, edging out Benard Bil by two seconds.
Another international visitor, Linus Ruto, finished third in the open race, another two seconds further back.
Silver and bronze medallists in the national championships event where Elroy Gelant (Athletics Central North West) and Gladwin Mzazi (Central Gauteng).
They ended fourth and fifth respectively with times of 61:48 and 61:49.
Foreign athletes dominated the women’s race, with Mamorallo Tjoka of Lesotho taking the win in 70:46, more than a minute ahead of her nearest opponent. Tjoka was also crowned new Southern Region champion.
Mbhele, turning out for KwaZulu-Natal Athletics, finished sixth overall in 1:13:07 to win gold in the national title race.
Lebogang Phalula (1:15:31) and Christine Kalmer (1:15:34) grabbed ninth and 10th positions for silver and bronze.
Photo: Makoka winning in Port Elizabeth, by ROGER SEDRES/ImageSA