'There is a new Thabang' - SA Champ Mosiako reigns supreme at NMB Half Marathon
Thabang Mosiako made history today when he ran the fastest 21km by a South African on home soil on his way to winning the Nelson Mandela Bay Half Marathon in a scintillating time of 01:00:29. The race which also incorporated the Athletics South Africa (ASA) Half Marathon Championship took place in Gqeberha this morning where Lesotho's Tebello Ramakongoana took second place in a new national record for the Mountain Kingdom (1:00:34), and SA 10km record holder of Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA) Precious Mashele sealed third place in 1:00:42. Multiple national champion Stephen Mokoka secured fourth place overall and third for Athletics Gauteng North (AGN) in 01:00:54 where the top ten men dipped under 62 minutes.
The 28-year- old Mosiako has been a man reborn since relocating from his native North West province to the Eastern Cape in 2021 to start working with Mike Mbambani training alongside Melikhaya Frans. In April, the former 5 000m Champion ran a splendid lifetime best of 27:52 during Absa RUN YOUR CITY GQEBERHA 10K. He credits his victory to the team saying this is also their victory.
"I'm happy and excited about today's outcome. Mostly I would like to thank my coach (Michael Mbambani), Ikhamva AC, Nedbank Running Club for making these happen," said an elated Mosiako who eclipsed his previous personal best (1:01:59) by over a minute. "It needs lot of work, courage and the support from group, coach and the club. I can say this title is not for me but it for everyone who contributed to my running career. So I'm so excited about the achievement of clocking a new Eastern Province Athletics (EPA) record and a new personal best."
During the Totalsports Two Oceans Half Marathon in April, Mosiako led for much of the race but after throwing in surge after surge he faded in the final stages of the race. Finishing fourth in 01:04:14 on that day in Cape Town was a valuable experience that taught the Nedbank Running Club top runner a big lesson.
"I can say now, there is a new Thabang Mosiako. So I take athletics as a lesson. I'm in a class still learning. If you can check in Cape Town, I made mistakes which I tried to correct. But today I corrected my mistakes and I didn't make a wrong move. Then I made a move in the last kilometre where everyone was tired including me but I was the strongest one," he told #TheTopRunner moments after celebrating victory.
His next focus now is to represent South Africa in the World Half Marathon Championships in the Latvian capital of Riga - selection he has earned by virtue of winning the race and being crowned SA Champion. Mosiako who represent the country for the first time on the road will do so alongside Mashele and Mokoka. "I'm over the moon and I can't wait. I'm praying that I don't get the injury so that I can represent my country there and probably run a personal best time. After today 59 minutes will be easy for me."
In the women's race Glenrose Xaba produced a memorable performance to secure a second 21km national title as she as she dipped under 69 minutes for the first time to finish second overall in a new personal best time of 01:08:37, behind Kenya's Betty Chepkemoi (1:08:33). Ethiopia's Bekelech Wariyo 1:09:03 was third while both Cacisile Sosibo (seventh in 1:09:46) and Cian Oldknow (ninth in 1:10:48) to earn second and third respectively in the ASA Championships race.