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  • Thathe Msimango

Mokoka ready for Cape Town Marathon

South African long-distance ace Stephen Mokoka will run his first marathon since he competed in the Tokyo Olympics in August. Mokoka, who failed to finish the 42,2km in Japan will tackle the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon on the 17th of October as one of the favourites to emerge triumphant on race day. Speaking to the #TheTopRunner, Mokoka who is a four-time winner of the Shanghai Marathon, says his preparations heading to the Mother City have been good.

Mokoka breasts the tape to win the 2018 Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in a new course record. Photo Credit: Sanlam Cape Town Marathon.

"The preparation has been going well for me. I was on the ten-week program which finishes tomorrow (Thursday) and I'm happy with the way things are. The good thing is that I'm injury-free. This is my first race after the Olympics which I didn't do well so the most important thing is to finish the race," explains Boxer Athletics Club top runner.

Having set the course record holder of 2:08:31 back in 2018, much is expected of a man that not only took fifth place in the 2019 World Championships marathon, but is also the SA half marathon record holder (59:35). Some pundits have suggested that Tshipi as he is affectionately known by his fellow runners, is in the right sort of shape to run the fastest marathon on African soil and eclipse the 2:08:04 set by his late father in law Zithulele Sinqe in 1986. But Mokoka says he isn't thinking about time because his main ambition is to finish the race.

Mokoka hard at work with his training partners in the Sponge Group in Pretoria. Tshipi has completed a 10-week programme to get him ready for The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon. Photo Credit: Lebohang Nkhutha.

"I don't have expectations on race day. Like I said, It's good that I finish the race after I didn't do well at the Olympics," said the man who is coached by Michael Seme. "I aim to have a good race. Remember, I never planned to run Cape Town Marathon as my focus was on the Olympics. But since I got the invite, I had to take it. My season isn't over yet and if some races come then I would take that opportunity with both hands," he concluded.

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