Local star Stephen Mokoka beat a world-class line-up in the men’s race and Helalia Johannes of Namibia emerged victorious in a hard-fought women’s battle at the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon on Sunday.
We take a look at the highlights of the IAAF Gold Label race.
Pre-race favourite Mokoka lived up to the hype, charging home in 2:08:31 to take 10 seconds off the Cape Town Marathon record.
He broke away with less than 10km remaining in the 42km battle and maintained his lead to the line, finishing 31 seconds clear of second-placed Kenyan Albert Korir. It was the quickest time ever run on a standard course on SA soil.
Two other local athletes finished in the top 10, with former national champion Benedict Moeng ending sixth overall in 2:12:53 to take silver behind Mokoka in the SA Marathon Championships, while Desmond Mokgobu was 10th in 2:14:13, grabbing the bronze medal.
“Winning here in South Africa is a big deal for me. I usually go to Shanghai for my annual marathon, but when I was invited to Cape Town, I knew I had to run here, and winning here was very important to me. Having a home champion is important.” – Stephen Mokoka
Johannes closed out a superb season with another fine performance.
After winning the Commonwealth Games title in Gold Coast earlier this year, she showed her class once more to win the women’s contest in a race record of 2:29:31, becoming the first woman in 29 years to dip under 2:30:00 over the 42km distance on SA soil.
Failana Matanga of Tanzania was second in 2:30:00, and Nolene Conrad was the first SA woman across the line in eighth place overall, winning the national title in a personal best of 2:34:39.
In-form athlete Precious Mashele rocketed home in 29:11, outclassing a strong domestic line-up, with Jeromy Andreas grabbing second spot in 29:26.
Irvette van Zyl was in spectacular form, taking the women’s race in 32:48, less than four months after giving birth to her second son.
Results of the 2018 Cape Town Marathon:
Men: 1 Stephen Mokoka (RSA) 2:08:31, 2 Albert Korir (KEN) 2:09:02, 3 Philemon Kacherian (KEN) 2:09:13, 4 Kipsang Kipkemoi (KEN) 2:09:21, 5 Nicholas Rotich (KEN) 2:12:39, 6 Benedict Moeng (RSA) 2:12:53, 7 Kenneth Limo (KEN) 2:13:20, 8 Negash Abebe (ETH) 2:13:41, 9 Munyaradzi Jari (ZIM) 2:14:02, 10 Desmond Mokgobu (RSA) 2:14:13
Women: Helalia Johannes (NAM) 2:29:28, 2 Failana Matanga (TAN) 2:30:00, 3 Urge Diro (ETH) 2:30:31, 4 Yanatu Abdi (ETH) 2:31:33, 5 Askale Adula (ETH) 2:31:34, 6 Ellie Pashley (AUS) 2:31:52, 7 Neheng Khatala (LES) 2:33:41, 8 Nolene Conrad (RSA) 2:34:39, 9 Almaz Fekade 2:35:43, 10 Bizunesh Tesema 2:37:35
Men: 1 Precious Mashele (RSA) 29:10, 2 Jeromy Andreas (RSA) 29:25, 3 Sipho Mbanjwa (RSA) 29:46, 4 Hatasi Mothimokholo (LES) 29:53, 5 Tumisang Monnatlala (RSA) 30:01
Women: 1 Irvette van Zyl (RSA) 32:48, 2 Rutendo Nyahora (ZIM) 33:54, 3 Carmie Prinsloo (RSA) 35:20, 4 Stella Marais (RSA) 35:57, 5 Aynslee van Graan (RSA) 36:18