And as he looked ahead to the marathon at the World Championships in Doha next weekend, the man who has shone on the track, in cross country as well as on the road, spoke of how he dreams of adding his name on that list of South Africans who have won big marathons.
Mokoka’s eyes light up when he talks of the likes of his mentor Hendrik Ramaala, road-running great Willie Mtolo and the unassuming super achiever that is Josiah Thugwane.
His admiration of these three men is totally understandable. Granted he has just recently broken Ramaala’s national half marathon record, having also been crowned national champion at the 21.1km distance on no less than six occasions. Damn his domination of the full marathon at the ASA Championships in recent times makes him worthy of the title of SA Marathon king.
But to have his name mentioned in the same breath as those of the trio mentioned above, Mokoka needs a massive run at a big stage. That is what makes legends. Success at the highest level.