Nelson Mandela Bay ASA Half Marathon Championships winner, Stephen Mokoka was thrilled to overcome tough competition and defend his title at Pollock Beach on Saturday.
Athletics Gauteng North’s Mokoka, who also won the race last year, sprinted to the finish line, coming in at 1hr, 1min 44sec, ahead of international Bernard Bil, of Nedbank International, Kenya, who was just two seconds behind and another Kenyan athlete, Linus Ruto, who finished a further two seconds off the pace in 1:01:48.
Elroy Gelant (1:01:48) of Athletics Central North West and Gladwin Mzazi (1:01:49) of Central Gauteng Athletics were fourth and fifth respectively, securing silver and bronze in the national championship contest.
Foreign athletes dominated the women’s race with Mamorallo Tjoka, of Nedbank International, Lesotho, taking the win in 1: 10:46, more than a minute ahead of her nearest opponent. With the victory, Tjoka also became the new Southern Region champion.
Helalia Johannes, of Namibia, came second in 01:10:51, with Susy Chemaimak, of Nedbank International, ,Kenya, in third position in a time of 1:12:32.
Janet Mbhele was the first South African woman home, in sixth place and a time of 1:13:07, to win gold in the national title race.
Lucky Bruce McEwan, of Achilles Club, won the Datsun Go, proudly sponsored by Eastern Cape Motors.