Premier Thandi Modise applauds Mokoka for world-half marathon feat
7 Oct 2012
Stephen “Tshipi-Tshipi” Mokoka’ s great achievement at the World Half-Marathon Championship held in Kayama, Bulgaria yesterday that should serve to encourage aspirant athletes from rural communities to reach for their dreams, North West Premier Mme Thandi Modise said on Sunday.
“Having overcome many challenges that confront athletes from poor rural backgrounds, we can with pride say that as our ambassador he made us proud at an international platform. His determination to succeed is inspirational. We look up to him as a role model for youth in the province. We join the Mokoka family and community of Ramatlabama village in congratulating Tshipi-Tshipi and the South African trio of Stephen Mokoka, Gladwin Mzazi and Lucky Mohale for their seventh overall team prize,” said Premier Modise.
Mokoka who lay 16th at the 15 kilometers mark, sped through the last 6.1 km in warm, difficult conditions to cross the line in 1:02:06 finishing in eight position.
The 27-year-old Mokoka who is from Ramatlabama village outside Mahikeng in the North West Province matched his performance at the 2009 global half-marathon championships in Birmingham, England, where he also finished eighth.
Mzazi, who put up a brave run and held on while eventual winner Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea who bagged a record fifth world title strung out the field in a relentless charge, crossed the line in 18th position in 1:03h46.
Tadese’s time was 1:00:19 while team South Africa’s Mohale finished in the 49th position in 1:07:17. Mokoka had represented the country at the 2012 Olympics .He had earlier recorded 27:40.73 during the Yellow Pages SA Senior Track and Field Championship to record the third fastest time ever run by a South African,only SA record holder Hendrik Ramaala and 9 time SA 10 000m champion, Xolile Yawa have gone faster. (PE 22.02.1999 and PE 12.12.1987 respectively)
Lesiba Moses Kgwele
Tel: 018 388 3705
Cell: 083 629 1987
Fax: 018 388 3157
Issued by: North West Provincial Government
7 Oct 2012
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