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Mokoka shines at Nedbank's Stellenbosch 10k Championships
South African Stephen Mokoka ran seven seconds quicker than his personal best to clock 28 minutes 21 seconds to win the Nedbank SA 10 kilometres Championships at the Stellenbosch's Coetzenburg stadium.
The SA national half marathon Champion was included in the team to contest the IAAF World Half Marathon championships in Birmingham, England in October and his time was important as a test for them.
Mokoka, a 24 year-old from 600 village in Mafikeng, said: "I just came here to check if my training is going according to plan, I targeted a 28:40 time so this is brilliant.
"If everything goes according to plan at the Worlds, I expect to run around 61:05."
From the gun he was in the lead recording 14:22 through the halfway mark but he left it to just outside the stadium to put in the decisive surge to relegate Tshamano Setone (Central Gauteng Athletics) and Lindikhaya Mthangayi (WPA) to the minor placing.
Mthangayi may well have been holding the silver medal had it not been for a momentary lapse in concentration when on the tartan of the famous Coetzenburg track he slacked and had to watch Setone whiz by to grab the silver with only a two seconds quicker time.
Rene Kalmer (CGA) won the women's race in 32:39 with Lebo Phalula (CGA) second in 33:09 and Sharon Tavengwa (Nedbank) third in 33:31, but due to the fact that Tavengwa is not South African Lebogang Phalula (CGA) was elevated to the bronze position.
Complete road running results for the Nedbank SA 10km Championships:
Seniors: 1 Stephen Mokoka (AGN) 28:21; 2 Tshamano Setone (CGA) 28:22; 3 Lindikhaya Mthangayi (WPA) 28:24
Juniors: 1 Sithyilo Diko (CGA) 29:45; 2 Shaun Zuzani (Nedbank) 29:54; 3 Jonathan Chinyoka (AKZN) 30:04
Veterans: 1 Luketz Swartbooi (Temp) 29:53; 2 Greg Barnes (AGN) 31:44; 3 Reginald Ngobese (CGA) 31:52
Masters: 1 Vladimir Kotov (WPA) 32:33; 2 Kosie Botha (Boland) 35:46; 3 Thomas Moses (Boland) 36:19
Grand Masters: 1 Albertus Bock (WPA) 37:53; 2 Thamsanqa Jusayi (EPA) 38:19; 3 Jimmy Morris (WPA) 39:19
Seniors: 1 Rene Kalmer (CGA) 32:39; 2 Lebo Phalula (CGA) 33:09; 3 Sharon Tavengwa (Nedbank) 33:31
Juniors: 1 Sylvia Tshetlanyane (CGA) 35:48; 2 Dominique Scott (Boland) 36:00; 3 Nandipha Dywili (MP) 36:03
Veterans: 1 Michelle Bartman (WPA) 37:11; 2 Maya Lawrie (AKZN) 37:49; 3 Joanna Thomas (WPA) 37:50
Masters: 1 Nancy Will (WPA) 38:53; 2 Olga Howard (WPA) 40:26; 3 Marietjie Ceronio (AVT) 40:44
Grand Masters: 1 Sonja Laxton (CGA) 42:37; 2 Veronica van Niekerk (Boland) 44:48; 3 Pixie Sparg (WPA) 49:23