Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
18 Apr 2015
6:45 pm

Mokoka breaks SA 5 000m record

Wesley Botton

While the sprinters had been expected to dominate the SA Athletics Championships in Stellenbosch, distance runner Stephen Mokoka stole the limelight with a spectacular solo effort in the final individual race of the two-day event.

Stephen Mokoka winner of the mens 5000m during day 2 of the ASA Senior and Combined Events Track & Field Championships at Coetzenburg Stadium on April 18, 2015 in Stellenbosch, South Africa. (Photo by Luke Walker/Gallo Images)

Mokoka, who won the 10 000m gold medal on Friday, clocked 13:11.44 on Saturday afternoon to win the men’s 5 000m final, smashing Shadrack Hoff’s 20-year-old national record of 13:14.16.

“I never thought I could run this time because my main event is the 10 000m,” Mokoka said.

“It shows if I keep working on my speed and endurance I can do well at the World Championships (in Beijing in August).”

Earlier on the second and final day of the annual championships, Wayde van Niekerk clocked an impressive 44.91 seconds to secure gold in the men’s 400m final.

“I slowed down a bit at the end because I ran faster than my fitness should allow, so I’m a bit tired but I’m happy with my time,” Van Niekerk said.

“I’m looking forward to a good season.”

Akani Simbine (10.25) and Anaso Jobodwana (20.35) won the men’s 100m and 200m titles, while LJ van Zyl clocked 49.29 to secure victory in the 400m hurdles, and Antonio Alkana climbed to third place in the all-time SA 110m hurdles rankings with a solid time of 13.54 seconds.

World Championships finalist Victor Hogan launched a 62.86m heave to win the men’s discus throw final and former Olympic long jump silver medallist Khotso Mokoena bagged the national triple jump crown with a best leap of 16.63m.

Javelin thrower Sunette Viljoen was the best of the nation’s elite women, securing her 10th SA crown with a 64.14m effort.

Carina Horn pocketed the women’s 100m title in 11.40, Justine Palframan grabbed the 200m (23.26) and 400m (53.49) double, and Wenda Nel coasted to victory in the 400m hurdles in 55.27.

Former world champion Caster Semenya won the women’s 800m final in a pedestrian 2:05.05 and trailed home in eighth place in the 1 500m, which was won by Lebo Phalula in 4:14.43.