Lucky Mohale has two objectives come Saturday 19 May. He wants to defend his national 10km title and has his eyes set on becoming the third South African to dip under 28 minutes on the road.
Lucky Mohale won the men’s race in the 2011 championships in 29:00 just ahead of Stephen Mokoka who clocked 29:16 in a classic gun to tape victory. Since the championships on 22 May 2011, the 26-year-old has represented South Africa in the marathon at the World Championships in Daegu as well as various other shorter races with great success. Mohale ran one 10km race at the end of February where he claimed victory in 29:55 and the Jackie Mekler 25km on 5 May in Pretoria clocking 1:20:20 for the second.
With the flat route beneficial for fast times, the 32 year-old SA record of 28:00 could be under threat according to Mohale, should the conditions be ideal. “I don’t see anybody as competition. I have been training very hard and will run hard from the start to the finish,” said Mohale. “I want to run a sub 28 minute race in Kimberley and have been training for it.”
2011 runner up Stephen Mokoka also lines up on Saturday. The 27-year-old won the race in 2010 but relinquished his title to Mohale in 2011. It was also an unfortunate race for Mokoka as he was tripped and had to play catch up in order not to fall behind. “Last year’s conditions were also not ideal. It was very cold in Johannesburg so I hope Kimberley will be a little bit better,” said Mokoka.
Mokoka has qualified for the marathon at the London Olympics and also reached the qualifying standard in the 10 000m on the track once. Should he decide to focus on the 10 000m instead of the marathon, he will have to reach the qualifying time once more at an international meeting. “At this moment I am struggling to get races overseas, but my manager is trying very hard to organise something.”
A total of R104 900 has been made available in prize money excluding the R25 000 for SA Records and R25 000 for World top 50 performances (28:03 for men and 32:09 for women). The winner of the 10km race, both men and women, will receive R10 000 with R7500 going to the silver medallist and R5000 for finishing 3rd.
The 2012 championships will see a significant increase in the amount of athletes competing, with a total of 115 senior male athletes running as opposed to the 74 of last year. In total, 213 men (across all age categories) have been entered to compete in comparison to the 143 in 2011. The 10km Championships will start at 07h00 at the Diskobolos Defence Force Sport Grounds in Kimberley.
Photo Credit: PhaticComms