Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
12 Nov 2017
10:23 am

Stephen Mokoka bags historic fourth Shanghai title

Wesley Botton

The South African just loves this marathon!

Stephen Mokoka.

Making full use of his extensive experience on the course, defending champion Stephen Mokoka won a closely contested battle in China on Sunday, racking up a record fourth victory at the Shanghai Marathon.

Crossing the line in two hours, eight minutes, 35 seconds (2:08:35), Mokoka put up a fight in the closing stages to hold off Kenyan opponent Ernest Kiprono by three seconds, covering the 42.2km distance less than a minute outside his personal best of 2:07:40.

The top five men all finished within 65 seconds of each other in a hard-fought contest.

Adding to his victories at the Gold Label race in 2013, 2014 and 2016, Mokoka became the first athlete to win the top-flight annual contest four times.

It was his seventh successive top-four finish in Shanghai, and he flaunted his consistency by dipping under the 2:11:00 barrier for the eight season in a row.

In the women’s race, Roza Dereje of Ethiopia was also successful in her title defence, taking the win in 2:22:43.

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