Stephen Mokoka in action at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha. Photo: Noushad Thekkayil

JOHANNESBURG – What are the chances of Stephen Mokoka making up for his failure to get a podium finish at the IAAF World Championships marathon with a winning run at the FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN?

The superstar runner will lead the country’s charge for glory tomorrow fresh on the back of his fifth-place finish at the global event.

Mokoka is a regular in the FNB Run Your City Series and relishes the competition provided. “It is a great thing that Stillwater Sports is doing. Three big races in a year, good prize money, good competition and we do not need to travel to Europe or elsewhere. That is good for us at home and makes planning your season a lot easier.”

Mokoka has raced Durban since inception and placed 4th and 6th in 2017 and 2018 - both times being the best South African in the race.

The Boxer Athletic Club runner, who regularly competes overseas, loves the FNB series because it brings international competition home. “You get this extra feeling of pride racing amongst the world's best here in SA.”

And there will be some great runners in Durban this weekend.

One of those is Kenyan William Sitonik. The 25-year-old boasts a 60:47 half marathon best which he ran in March and also had a fantastic run in Copenhagen last month. He is one of three athletes in the field who can boast IAAF Gold Label status. Another is 34-year-old Kenyan, Wilfred Kimitei, who boasts a best of 28:02 for 10km run in 2016.

With race favourite Stephen Kissa targeting sub-27 minutes, expect both Sitonik and Kimitei to make their presence felt. “I am not coming to Durban on holiday,” says Sitonik. “This race has a reputation for being fast, and if Stephen (Kissa) is looking to run that fast, then I will need to bring my best form and give him a challenge.”

Matshelane Mamabolo

@Tshiliboy


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