Mokoka, Kalmer show good form

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iol spt feb18 Kalmer Reg Caldecott Olympic marathon hopefuls Rene Kalmer and Stephen Mokoka were in top form on Saturday, smashing the course records at a road race in Pretoria.

Olympic marathon hopefuls Stephen Mokoka and Rene Kalmer were in top form on Saturday, smashing the course records at a road race in Pretoria.

Mokoka, who won the 10km title at the BestMed Tuks race last year, held off second-placed Desmond Mokgubu to clinch the half-marathon crown in one hour, four minutes and 35 seconds (1:04:35).

Mokgobu crossed the line in 1:04:42 and Lucky Mohale was third in 1:04:59.

Mokoka was expected to compete in the SA Cross Country Trials in Potchefstroom later in the afternoon.

Kalmer, meanwhile, set a new mark of 1:13:09 to win the women's race, shaving more than a minute off the previous record.

Louisa Leballo was second in 1:19:58 and Kim Laxton took third in 1:22:50.

The fastest men's and women's qualifiers with two months left before the deadline, Mokoka, who clocked 2:10:29 in Shanghai in December, and Kalmer, who set a personal best of 2:29:59 in Yokohama in November, are virtually assured of selection for the SA marathon team at the London Games.

Another Olympic hopeful, Irvette van Blerk, who will go in search of the qualifying time at the London Marathon in April, was beaten by more than half a minute in the women's 10km race in Pretoria.

Zimbabwe's Rutendo Nyahora defended her title and broke her own record, crossing the line in 34:34, with Van Blerk second in 35:12.

Gladwin Mzazi also set a record in the men's 10km category, finishing well clear of second-placed Sibusiso Nzima in 29:18. – Sapa

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