Stephen Mokoka will defend his title at the SA Half Marathon Championships in Cape Town on 26 August.
In 2011, the Gauteng North athlete won the title ahead of Xolisa Tyali and Lucky Mohale, both athletes from Central Gauteng Athletics. Mokoka won the race in 1:02:07 while Tyali and Mohale crossed the line in 1:02:43 and 1:03:04 respectively.
This season the Half Marathon Champion won the Sasol Half Marathon in Sasolburg on 4 February in a time of 65:11. At the SA 10km Championships in Kimberley on 19 May, he crossed the line in fourth position.
On 12 August, Mokoka was one of three male athletes to represent South Africa in the marathon at the Olympic Games in London. He finished 49th overall, clocking 2:19:52. The 27 year-old also competed in the Waterberg Executive Mayor’s 28 km race on 9 June in Modimolle (formerly Nylstroom), winning in 85:15.
Mokoka’s best time of 61:26 in the half marathon, was recorded at the National Championships held in Port Elizabeth in 2009.
For Mokoka, the SA Half Marathon Championships will serve as preparation for the World Championships taking place later in the year. “I want to be a part of the team for the World Half Marathon Championships taking place in Bulgaria on 6 October,” said Mokoka.
Other familiar faces at the Championships include the 2010 winner Lucky Mohale, SA 10km Champion Elroy Gelant, Coolboy Ngamole, Boy Soke, Gladwin Mzazi, Kgosi Tsosane, Lusapho April and the SA Marathon record holder Gert Thys.
The route will be a double lapper through Constantia in Cape Town finishing at the Sport fields of Cape Academy of Mathematics, Science and Technology.
A total of R134 900 has been made available in prize money excluding the R50 000 for SA Records and R20 000 for World top 50 performances (1:00:36 for men and 1:09:12 for women). The winner of the half marathon, both men and women, will receive R15 000 with R10 000 going to the silver medallist and R7500 for finishing 3rd. There are also prizes available for the winning teams.
The SA Half Marathon Championships will start at 07h00 at the Cape Academy of Mathematics, Science & Technology in Firgrove Way, Constantia. The victory ceremony will take place at 10h30.