Mokoka leads SA’s self-funded athletes to fifth at world half-marathon champs

Stephen Mokoka spearheaded SA’s group of self-funded athletes to fifth place in the men’s team event at the world championships in Gdynia, Poland, on Saturday.

He clocked 59min 48sec to smash 15 seconds off his own national half-marathon record in Buenos Aires last year, finishing seventh in the individual race.

Precious Mashele ended 15th in 1hr 24sec and Collen Mulaudzi 23rd in 1:00:51 — both personal bests — to ensure they finished in the money, bagging themselves nearly R100,000 in total.

Glenrose Xaba was 16th in the women’s race in 1:09:26, also a personal best.

“Given the background of their preparations, we are very grateful for the achieved performances from all our athletes,” Athletics SA (ASA) president Aleck Skhosana said in a statement issued by the federation.

TimesLIVE understands that all four athletes paid their own way over.

ASA, which had previously decided not to send a team to this event citing fears of the Covid-19 pandemic, agreed to enter the athletes who were keen to make their own way there.​