Johannesburg – Stephen Mokoka says he was not expecting to win the race, let alone set a fast time, after he defended his SA Half-marathon Championships crown in Cape Town on Sunday.

Mokoka clocked 1:00.57, setting the quickest ever time by a South African athlete on local soil on an unaided course.

“My aim was to finish in the top five so that I can be up for selection for the World Half-marathon Championships later this year,” Mokoka said on Monday.

His performance was one of only two sub-61 minute races in South African history on a standard route.

The other athlete to achieve this was Lawrence Peu, who clocked 1:00.58 in East London in May 1991.

“I am very happy with my performance, especially with the good time,” Mokoka said.

Lucky Mohale finished second in 1:01.08 and Gladwin Mzazi was third in 1:01:38.

“It was a close race, so I only realised that I was going to win about five metres before the finish line,” Mokoka said. – Sapa