Standing ovation for world-record holder Mokoka

It took Stephen Mokoka 2:40:13 to break the men’s world record during the Nedbank #Runified 50km in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape on Sunday.

Mokoka crossed the finish line four minutes earlier than Ethiopia’s Ketema Negasa, who set the inaugural record of 2:42:07 in 2021.

Mokoka’s record-breaking performance stunned even the gurus of the sport including the World Athletics, which is singing the praises of the three-time South African Olympian.

The joyous 37-year-old told the post-race press conference: “It’s a long way and I don’t know how I’m going to feel later, but I enjoyed it.”

Among many of his career highlights, Mokoka has won races ranging from 1 500m to the marathon. In 2015, he won the time Shanghai Marathon in 2:07:40. That he followed up by snatching the Granollers Half Marathon in Granollers, Catalonia, Spain in 2020.

In that race, Mokoka shadowed the pacemaker through halfway in 1:21:02, breaking away after 30km with a 2:56km to put himself on world-record schedule.

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