Mokoka reigns supreme in Port Elizabeth
Ethiopia's Tadu Nare claims women’s title
Stephen Mokoka made it a hat trick of wins on Marine Drive as he strode home to claim the Nelson Mandela Bay Athletics South Africa Half Marathon Championships title on Saturday morning.
The event, which includes the CAA Southern Region Championships, saw Moroka produce a stellar final surge to outrun arch rival Elroy Galant, crossing the line in 60 mins and 56 seconds.
Galant, who ran an aggressive race and put pressure on Mokoka, faded away in the finish shute to take second place (61:00) ahead of Precious Mashele (61:21) to round out an all South African podium.
Ethiopia's Tadu Nare won the women’s race in 1:10.20 with Kenya’s Sarah Naibei second in a time of 1:10.54 while Glenrose Xaba claimed the third spot and also the national title in her first-ever competitive Half Marathon.
All the main contenders in the men's race went through the first 5km after a slow first kilometre (3:05). Eight kilometres in the pace picked up dramatically as Kenyan’s Bernard Bil and David Maru driving the pace, with South Africa’s Elroy Gelant throwing in surge after surge.
Stephen Mokoka, Elroy Gelant, Precious Mashele, and Joel Mmone then attacked and dropped the Kenyan challenge in the final 4km.
Meanwhile, Nare, who is just 18-years-old, said the race was one of her best yet and picking up the win on a sunny Bay morning was the icing on the cake.
Stephen Mokoka (1:00.56)
Elroy Gelant (1:01.00)
Precious Mashele (1:01.21)
Joel Mmone (1:01.30)
Mbuleli Mathanga (1:01.50)
Tadu Nare (1:10.20)
Sarah Naibei (1:10.54)
Glenrose Xaba (1:11.08)
Gerda Steyn (1:11.53)
Jenet Bhele (1:12.08)