The Nedbank ultra-marathon World record holder Stephen Mokoka has set his sights on winning the Absa Run Your City 10km title in Cape Town on Sunday.
Mokoka clocked 2:40:13 in his debut Runfield 50km in Gqeberha in March, winning R330 000 cash prize.

The 37-year-old Olympian will run his first race after breaking the World record in the Mother City and he is ready to take on the Kenyans together with Ethiopians stars in a battle for supremacy at the weekend.

Last year he secured a third place finish in the 12km in Cape Town and he hopes to improve on his performance this year.

Mokoka is full of confidence and he believes that he stands a great chance of winning the race.
“Secondly the chances of winning the race ummh oh well we stand on the starting in the line-up it depends on the strongest guy on the field so I’m excited about the race, I’m hoping that I do well cause last I finished when it was 12km I hope this year I do better “said Mkoka.

The long distant runner traveled with a group of middle-distance athletes at the ASA Senior Track and Field Championships at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town last year. He is coached by Michael Seme and wants to learn from him first before he can explore the coaching journey.

“I can say I am not yet into a journey of coaching but I call myself a mentor because I still gave a coach who coach me so for now I’m just trying to develop some skills by working with young athletes at TUT hoping that one day I will acquire necessary skills if I do acquire those necessary skills maybe one day I will enter in to the venture of coaching” Mokoka went on.

The four-time Universiade medalist has completed many races in Cape Town and he believes that is where he runs fast times. He won the Cape Town Marathon twice and the ASA Marathon, the Two Oceans half-marathon titles, and a couple of shorter distance races in Cape Town.

The 37 year-old has insisted that it is not easy to win a race in South Africa as the standard of road running has improved.

“In terms of competition many guys are coming through, lot of ladies are coming through and the competition has always been tough. It’s not easy to win a race in South Africa if you don’t train hard.

“I mean the standard of south African running especially road running has actually grown bit by bit, we see a number of guys doing very well.

“I remember the last 10km I raced in the country was in Durban last year whereby we saw five-guys running around under 28/30 so it shows that the standard of running is

changing, its more or less of what happening outside the country. Outside the country people are running like 27, 26 some of them, I can just say the standard of running is changing and it’s good for our country-it’s good for us” said the South African road runner in conclusion.

Mokoka believes that there is a development of young male and female runners in the country.

By Charles Baloyi

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