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Mokoka runs 10000m Qualifier

Stephen Mokoka - Olympic Qualifier

Stephen Mokoka - Olympic Qualifier

Steven Mokoka (AGN) made the headlines on day 1 of the Yellow Pages SA Senior Track and Field Championships by virtually running the third fastest time ever in the 10 000m, solo. Mokoka and team mate Glawdin Mzazi broke away from the field early on in the race, chasing the 27:45.00 required as an Olympic A-Qualifiying time. By halfway though, Mzazi had started to flag and Mokoka was left to his own devises to attempt the qulaifier. Churning out laps of 66 and 67sec the 27 year-old also started to struggle at around the 7000-8000m mark, but was able to pick up the pace in th final 2km. “The wind was hard in the home-straight, so I used it in the backstraight to ‘float’ and worked harder on the home-straight.”

Mokoka’s 27:40.73 is the third fastest time ever run by a South African, only SA record holder Hendrik Ramaala and 9 time SA 10 000m champion, Xolile Yawa have gone faster. (PE 22.02.1999 and PE 12.12.1987 respectively). Should Mokoka run the Olympic A-Qualifier again at an International Meeting he will need to decide if he will run the 10 000m in London or the Marathon for which he has also qualified. “My coach and I haven’t decided yet which one I will go for. My agent is looking to find me a few 10 000m races in Europe and with faster athletes in the field I am sure I can faster.”

Rene Kalmer, deep in Marathon training and with no speed work behind her, showed her class bying successfully defended her title in the women’s 5000m. Kalmer broke the 16 minute barrier in a solo effort after setting the pace virtually from the gun. Crossing the line in 15:55.05, Kalmer made history by winning her 32nd National Title since she started to compete at Senior level in 1997 (she was still a Junior then).

Visser wins first National Title

Zarck Visser (GGA) delivered his best performance of his athletics career and won the men’s long jump title on the first day of the SA Senior Championships in Port Elizabeth and defeating the 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist, Khotso Mokoena in the process.  Visser’s third round attempt of 8.21m was a “massive personal best” and good enough to win the title, but the 22 year old was robbed of a legal Olympic Qualifying A-standard as gusty winds wrecked havoc in the performances. The wind assisted jump of round 3 will not go down his legal personal best; his jump of 8.07m in round 5 with a legal wind reading of 1m/s will be recorded by statisticians as his best.

Visser led from the first round with an opening jump of 7.92m.  The defending SA long jump Champion Khotso Mokoena overstepped in the first two rounds and never had an answer for Visser who delivered an outstanding performance, going over 8 meters for only the second time in his athletics career.  The 22 year-old achieved a personal best in Germiston on 18 February with an 8.06m jump. In Port Elizabeth he had a series of three jumps over 8m showing his good form. Visser was very excited about beating Mokoena who has been the SA senior Champion for three consecutive years and also from 2005-2007.  “It still feels unreal beating him, but I expected to do well here.  I have trained hard and the idea was to peak at the SA Championships,” said Visser with a big smile after the event.

Mokoena (AGN) struggled in the windy conditions and achieved his best jump, 8.13m, in the last round, unfortunately with the wind reaching 4.5m/sec at the time.  Another CGA athlete Ruswahl Samaai finished 3rd, his best measuring 7.61m.
The second day of the SA Senior Chmapionships will start at06:30 with the 20km women’s walk at the Xerox NMMU Stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay.  The last event of the day will start at 17:25.

Tickets are available online from, via telephone on 086 1000 291 or at the gate. Tickets are priced at R25 for adults and R15 for children.

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