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Articles tagged #Stephen Mokoka
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An assault of Wilson Kipsang's course record on tap at the 75th edition of the Lake Biwa Marathon

An assault of Wilson Kipsang's 2:06:13 course record from 2011 is on tap at the 75th edition of the Lake Biwa Marathon, a World Athletics Gold Label road race, in Otsu, Japan, on Sunday.

Three sub-2:06 and two sub-2:07 runners are in the line-up. Four of those have career bests faster than Kipsang's nine-year-old record. All of those performances came in 2019, suggesting that quartet is on top of their game.

The fastest in the field is Evan Chebet who clocked 2:05:00 in winning last year's Buenos Aires Marathon. Chebet has also produced sub-2:06 runs in Valencia, Berlin and Seoul and also finished fourth in the Tokyo Marathon with 2:06:42.

The next fastest is Filex Chemonges who broke the Ugandan national record with a 2:05:12 performance in Toronto last year. He has run three marathons and each time improved his personal best.

Felix Kiprotich, the third fastest in the field, won the 2019 Daegu Marathon with 2:05:33, and also has three more sub-2:07 runs to his credit. Samuel Ndungu, the Lake Biwa winner in 2015, improved his personal best to 2:06:02 in Lisbon last year. The final sub-2:07 man in the field is Dutch national record holder Abdi Nageeye who improved clocked 2:06:17 in Rotterdam, also last year.

Former winners joining Ndungu are 2018 champion Joseph Ndirangu and 2019 winner Salah Bounasar. Other contenders include Stephen Mokoka who was third in 2019 in 2:07:58, the second-best time of his career.

The race also serves as the final chance for Japanese men to win a spot on the Olympic Marathon team. To secure their spot, a runner must run faster than the 2:05:29 national record set last week by Suguru Osako.

The fastest among the five invited Japanese runners is Yuki Kawauchi, with a lifetime best of 2:08:14. Other high-profile Japanese include Takuya Noguchi, with a 2:08:59 best; Kohei Ogino, who's clocked 2:09:36; Shohei Otsuka, a 2:10:12 man; and Kengo Suzuki, who has a 2:10:21 best.

(03/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics


The Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon held in Otsu, Shiga, is one of the prominent Japanese marathon races of the year. It is a male-only competition and has IAAF Gold Label status. It was first held in 1946 and, having taken place every year since then, it is Japan's oldest annual marathon race. The early editions of the race were held...


Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei is set to make his half-marathon debut at the upcoming world championships

Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda ran a world-record shattering 5K on Sunday in Monaco–a 12:51, the fastest 5K time run on the roads or track in the past year. He did this just a few months after a monster 2019 season, where he became both the cross-country and 10,000m world champion.

Next up for Chepetegi is a half-marathon debut at the upcoming world championships in Gdynia, Poland.

It’s not typical to run a distance debut at a world championship, but when you’re a former 10K and current 5K world record holder, you’re not a typical runner. Cheptegei told World Athletics that he would like to make history at the March 29 race and become the first person to win consecutive world titles in cross-country, the 10,000m and the half-marathon.

The runner also told World Athletics that his usual mileage is between 120 and 140K per week when he’s training for track events, but since he’s stepping up to the half, he’s increased it to roughly 160K. The most important session of the week is a 30 to 35K long run, over rolling hills, at 1,800 meters of elevation.

The world half-marathon championships always draw a strong contingent, but especially this year.  The new world ranking system gives points to runners based on their placing at national and international championships.

The half-marathon championship is an event where a strong finish could nearly guarantee a spot on the Olympic start line. Also, runners who typically float in between track and road events no longer have to chose as the World Indoor Championships, also scheduled for March, were postponed due to coronavirus.

Federations will finish announcing their world championship teams in the coming two weeks, but spectators can expect to see strong fields including South African national record-holder Stephen Mokoka (59:51).

(02/18/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The next World Half Marathon Championships will be held in Gdynia, Poland. It was scheduled for March 29, 2020 but was postponded until Oct 17, 2021 due to the Coronavirus. The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events...


Lelisa Desisa wins the marathon at the IAAF World Athletic Championships in Doha

Lelisa Desisa added a world marathon gold to the silver he won in Moscow six years ago as he and teammate Mosinet Geremew headed an Ethiopian one-two on the Corniche in conditions that were significantly more forgiving than those that had seen a slew of women marathoners pulling out on the opening day of the championships.

Desisa clocked a season’s best of 2:10:40, with Geremew four seconds back. Bronze went to Kenya’s Amos Kipruto, who finished in 2:10:51, with Britain’s Callum Hawkins clocking 2:10:57 to repeat his fourth placing from the 2017 World Championships marathon in London.

With the temperature at about 29C (84F), and humidity at about 48%, the two Ethiopians were part of a group that caught up with early breakaway leader Derlys Ayala of Paraguay just before halfway point and maintained enough energy to push on to glory in the final kilometre.

They left in their wake Kenya’s Kipruto, who had also been a part of the long-time leading group, and Hawkins, whose massive mid-race effort brought him into the lead group of three with only a couple of kilometres to go.

The effort to get there, however, cost the Briton dearly, and he had to accept his second successive fourth place in this event following the London running two years ago.

In the interim, Hawkins hit the headlines when he collapsed in the heat of the Gold Coast when he was only a mile or so away from what looked like a runaway win at the Commonwealth Games.

On this occasion he maintained his effort to the line, although that seemed little consolation to him in the immediate aftermath.

So Desisa went one better than he had in 2013, although the action that earned him most renown that year was his gesture in donating his Boston Marathon winning medal back to the city in sympathy with the bombing that took place near the finish line nearly three hours after he had passed it.

"It was hot, but I prepared perfectly for this race," said Desisa, who won the New York City Marathon last year. "I am very tired. But after I took silver in Moscow, this time I kept my power better.”

Zersenay Tadese, Eritrea’s five-time world half-marathon champion, led the lead group for much of the second half of the race before dropping to sixth place in 2:11:29.

One place above him, in 2:11:09, was South Africa’s Stephen Mokoka, who had also taken the responsibility for the lead for long periods.

Ayala, who had run a personal best of 2:10:27 only two weeks earlier in Buenos Aires, dropped out very soon after the halfway mark – one of 18 who failed to finish from the field of 73.

(10/06/2019) ⚡AMP
IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...


Collen Mulaudzi believes training with Stephen Mokoka gives him an advantage as he goes into the weekend’s Sanlam Cape Town Marathon

The Boxer Athletic runner is realistic enough, however, to not put himself under the pressure of wanting to replace his mentor as champion of Africa’s only IAAF Gold Label Status race.

“Of course I want to do well in Cape Town and I got some great advice from Stephen which I intend to heed. He told me to merely strive for a local podium finish as my time to be champion will come in the next two years.”

Mulaudzi finished 15th overall last year and was the fourth South African home when Mokoka blitzed the field to set a new course record.

“I rate Stephen very highly, I look up to him and Benedict Moeng as my mentors - they have a lot of marathon experience and I want to emulate their successes,” he said.

Mulaudzi knows that the race is likely to be just as fast if not faster than last year given the calibre of athletes on the start list and has set himself the goal of running a better time than he did on his debut.

“It was the first time I ran the race last year and I did 2:18:50 and my aim is obviously to better than this time around.

“And we know that there are top athletes who will be coming to Cape Town with some great PBs, the likes of the Peter Some, who has a 2:05 and Rarifu Kimku, who has ran a 2:06.

“They are both from Kenya and we all know their reputations as great runners.”

Unlike last year when he went to the race over-trained, the 26-year-old believes he has paced himself very well and will get to the start line fresh and ready to fire.

“I was tired last year because I went to Cape Town straight after the Cross Country Championships.

“Also I had not done enough mileage for the race like I did this time around.

“Stephen has been monitoring my training and he helped me rectify the mileage issue. So I am in good shape and I am hoping to pace myself well,” he added.

Unlike the majority of South Africans who will mainly be using the race as an Olympic qualifier, the man from Ramahantsha village in Makhado, Limpopo will not have Tokyo on his mind as he pounds the streets of the Mother City.

“It is a dream of every athlete to represent his country in the Olympics but for me that is not the focus. Of course if it happens it will be my biggest achievement and I would be delighted.”

He goes into the race on the back of a pretty good year that has seen him clock some PBs.

“I set my new PB in 10km in Morocco although I was in position 10. I went on to set my new PB in the Half Marathon at Port Elizabeth of 62:03.”

With that kind of time in the 21.1km, Mulaudzi clearly has it in him to realise his goal of being among the top South African finishers in Cape Town on Sunday.

(09/09/2019) ⚡AMP
Cape Town Marathon

Cape Town Marathon

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is a City Marathon held in Cape Town, South Africa, which is sponsored by Sanlam, the City of Cape Town and Vital Health Foods. The marathon is held on a fast and flat course, starting and finishing in Green Point, near the Cape Town Stadium. Prior to existing in its current format, the Cape Town...


Strong men´s field runners is expected for Cape Town Marathon

While Stephen Mokoka won last year’s Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in record time, the men’s top 10 was once again dominated by east Africans.

Apart from Mokoka, two other South Africans - Benedict Moeng (sixth) and Desmond Mokgobu (10th) - made the top 10.

With the race organisers expecting more international elite athletes for this year’s race taking place on September 15, it would appear the challenge for South Africans to dominate will be all the more tougher.

The organisers are hosting a ‘50 Days To Go’ Countdown event in the Mother City next Wednesday where they are set to announce "the finest elite marathon field ever assembled on African soil".

Expectations are that Mokoka will be back to defend the title he won in fantastic style. Mokoka, participating in a local event for the first time in years, lived up to his star billing when he got home in a fast time of 2:08:31.

But Mokgobu is going to miss this one out as he will be racing the Doha Marathon around that time while Moeng is likely to participate. Mokgobu’s teammate Pharson Magagane, who finished 21st last year will be back in the race.

An interesting participant this year will be Impala’s TK Moshwetsi who came to the fore during the Comrades Marathon. New to the scene, Moshwetsi surprised most when he held the lead in the ultra two and a half hours into the race and looked to be doing well and seemed strong only to stop after the halfway mark at Drummond.

According to his coach Dave Adams, Moshwetsi was never at Comrades to race or even complete it but was rather using it as preparation for the Cape Town Marathon.

No doubt this year’s race will be a hotly-contested affair what with the organisers also looking to impress the IAAF in their application to have the race upgraded from Gold Label Status to Platinum.

(07/18/2019) ⚡AMP
by Matshelane Mamabolo
Cape Town Marathon

Cape Town Marathon

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is a City Marathon held in Cape Town, South Africa, which is sponsored by Sanlam, the City of Cape Town and Vital Health Foods. The marathon is held on a fast and flat course, starting and finishing in Green Point, near the Cape Town Stadium. Prior to existing in its current format, the Cape Town...


Kipkoech clocked the world’s fastest 12K at Cape Town 12 Onerun

Brillian Kipkoech produced the fastest 12km run in history to win the FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN while fellow Kenyan Morris Gachanga secured a hat-trick of titles in the men’s race at the IAAF Bronze Label event on Sunday May 19. 

Uganda’s Commonwealth 10,000m champion Stella Chesang went out hard with the intention of breaking Vivian Cheruiyot’s 38:22 course record from 2015 and led a group of five women through the first 5km in 15:58.

Chesang, Kipkoech, Sofiya Chege and Degitu Azamirew maintained that pace through 10km, reached in 32:00, and then upped their tempo for the last two kilometres. With a strong final 500 metres, Kipkoech out-kicked her opponents to win in 38:05.

The top four women all finished inside the previous world best for the rarely-run distance with Chesang taking the runner-up spot in 38:09, just ahead of Chege (38:10) and Azamirew (38:11).

“When I made my move at 11km, I wanted to see how my body felt and it responded well, so I attacked again with about 500 metres to go and was able to move away,” said Kipkoech. “I did not know about the course record, so I am very happy today.”

The first kilometre in the men’s race was covered in 2:47, prompting talks of a course record, but a slight headwind in the next few kilometres slowed the pace. All the main contenders, including defending champion Gachaga, were in the pack as they passed through 5km in 14:22.

The second 5km was covered in 13:50 as Abdallah Mande threw in numerous surges with Gachaga the only man capable of sticking with the Ugandan.

As the lead duo reached 11km, South Africa’s Stephen Mokoka had closed up on them until they attacked again in the final 500 metres with Gachaga emerging the winner in 33:38. Mande was second in 33:39 and Mokoka third (33:50).

(05/19/2019) ⚡AMP
Cape Town 12 Onerun

Cape Town 12 Onerun

This fast flat route takes runners through a working harbour and into a quiet city centre for a scintillating, fast and furious finish; music, enthusiastic support and a later than usual start time for a road race. The FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN, the most passionate and welcoming road race on the South African running calendar. ...


South Africa's Stephen Mokoka won the 2018 Cape Town marathon, setting a new course record

Stephen Mokoka finished in a blistering 2:08.31 to take 10 seconds off the previous record of 2017 winner Asefa Negewu of Ethiopia. He is the first South African to win the race since 2010. Namibia's Helalia Johannes was the first female athlete to cross the line, winning in a time of 2.29.28. Both the men’s and women’s winners set new course records. (09/24/2018) ⚡AMP

South African's Xolisa Tyali is ready to take on the Cape Town Marathon

You would expect Xolisa Tyali to be anticipating the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon with some trepidation. After all Xolisa is just fresh from an Achilles tendon injury that saw him fail to finish the Rotterdam Marathon earlier this year. And last year he failed in his quest to win the race. Add to that the fact that this year’s race promises to be even more competitive with local marathon king Stephen Mokoka and last year’s pace-setter Desmond Mokgobu in the running, and Tyali should be a little scared. Fear, however, is not a part of Tyali’s make up and as he anticipated Africa’s only IAAF Gold Label Status marathon, the man from Tsolo in the Eastern Cape was brimming with confidence and in no doubt he will improve on his time. And then there’s the inspiration he gets from his coach, the legendary former New York Marathon champion Hendrik Ramaala. “He motivates me to work even harder just because he is a champion. He is connected internationally and organises for us to participate in those top races all over the world. It really is a blessing to work with a running icon like him.   (08/09/2018) ⚡AMP

Morris Gachaga wins Cape Town 12 OneRun 15 seconds off his world best time for 12k

Morris Gachaga and Jackline Chepngeno made it a Kenyan double, taking line honours at the FNB CApe Town 12 ONERUN in dramatic fashion on Sunday May 20.   Almost 13 000 runners of all shapes and sizes finished the traditional harbourside 12km dash from Milnerton into the city centre in perfect running conditions, the colourful mass transforming the usual silent Sunday city centre into a bustling party-town.  Gachaga crossed the finish line in Bree Street in 33:42, some 15 seconds off of his world best time from 2017. “Racing for the win was more important than chasing my time from last year,” Gachaga said after the race. “We did start out fast, for the first three kilometres we were on record pace, but then we started watching each other and the pace dropped a bit.” Those first 3km were passed in 8:15, 5km going by in 14:02 with all the main contenders in the lead pack of twelve athletes.  Gachaga, after driving the pace to the 3km mark, then slipped back into the pack with Kenya’s Victor Chumo taking up the front running. The South African challenge fell away just after 8km which was covered in 22:47, with only Stephen Mokoka, the 2016 Champion, still in the mix. 10km came and went in 28:25 and it was at this point that Gachaga and Chumo kicked again, dragging Mande Bushendich with them.  On the climb up Wale Street, Chumo surged again and as they entered the final 800m in Bree Street, Chumo and Gachaga had broken away from John Langat (Kenya), Abdallah Mande and Mande Bushendich, with Mokoka dropping off further. Chumo and Gachaga raced down Bree Street where Gachaga’s knowledge of the route giving him the advantage as he timed his sprint to the line perfectly, passing Chumbo in the final 300m to defend his title. The female race saw Kenya’s Jackline Chepngeno take control after 2km. Uganda’s Stella Chesang, who was widely tipped to win the race after winning the 10 000m title at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, hung on till 9km, before she had to give way to the relentless surging of Chepngeno. For Chepngeno the victory was the perfect start to 2018 after having taken 2017 off from racing, having given birth to her son. “The last kilometre I was worried about Stella (Chesang) after her win in Brisbane (Commonwealth Games), so I ran really hard. I did not know where she was, so I needed to race to the line,” said Chepngeno. “Winning was really good for me. This was my first race back after my pregnancy and it is a big confidence booster for me.” (05/20/2018) ⚡AMP

Record holder Stephen Mokoka heads local charge at Cape Town 12 Onerun

The local line-up at the Cape Town 12 OneRun should be spearheaded by national 10km record holder Stephen Mokoka, who set the SA 12km best of 33:34 to win the race in 2016. After finishing sixth in the 10 000m final at the recent Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Mokoka is set to feature alongside in-form compatriot David Manja, who beat an international field to win the Two Oceans Half-Marathon in March. “If we go through 10km in around 28 minutes, we can break Morris’ record… that last 800m of the race is incredibly fast,” Mokoka said. Meanwhile, Commonwealth Games 10 000m champion Stella Chesang of Uganda was expected to turn out as the firm favourite in the women’s race. She was up against local favorite Kesa Molotsane, who recently bagged the 5 000m and 10 000m double at the SA Student Championships, and Western Cape star Nolene Conrad. (05/18/2018) ⚡AMP
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