Stephen Mokoka Cape Town Marathon

Cape Town Marathon defending champion and record holder Stephen Mokoka will be the man to beat at the 2022 race on 16 October. Photo: Supplied

Cape Town Marathon result: Stephen Mokoka wins in a wet Mother City

South Africa’s Stephen Mokoka won the 2021 Cape Town Marathon in a wet Mother City on Sunday.

Stephen Mokoka Cape Town Marathon

Cape Town Marathon defending champion and record holder Stephen Mokoka will be the man to beat at the 2022 race on 16 October. Photo: Supplied

South Africa’s Stephen Mokoka made it two wins from two starts at the 2021 Cape Town Marathon, making short work of a stellar international field that had eight sub 2:10 men in the field.

With no pacemakers in the field, the race became a tactical affair with Mokoka making the decisive break just before 40km.

In what started out as ideal conditions, the pace early on was driven by Philemon Mathipa and Sbonisi Sikhakhane.

A big pack of around 20 athletes went through the halfway mark  in 65:50, with all the bigger South African names, such Philani Buthelezi, Mathipa, Sibusiso Nzima, David Manja and Melikhaya Frans prominent in the front.
With wet and slippery roads due to the overnight rains, none of the athletes was going to go out too fast, especially around the corners.

But the slow pace eventually had to give, and it was Kenya’s Alex Saekwo who started the first big surge of the day as the runners approached the Hartleyvale Hockey Astro. When the athletes went through 30km in 1:33.13, the lead group had been whittled down to 10, including Ethiopia’s Ameta Belachew, a 2:07.50 marathoner, Melikhaya Frans, who was on course for a personal best, Lesotho’s Tebello Ramakongoana and another Ethiopian, Gebru Redagne. Also still in that group was Sbonisi Sikhakhane, who, like Frans, was having a fabulous race.
Saekwo continued to surge with Mokoka keeping a close eye on proceedings and throwing in the occasional surge of his own.

As they hit 35km, it was down to seven athletes, Mokoka, Frans, Belachew, Sikhakhane, Redagne, Saekwo and Ramakongoana, with Mokoka now very much making his presence felt and controlling things from the front.
As they hit the Sea Point Promenade, Sikhakahne started to drop off.

At 39km Frans and Saekwo couldn’t stay with the sustained effort of Stephen Mokoka, and they too started to go backwards, with Belachew starting to fade shortly after.
Mokoka made his final move just before 40km and dropped Redagne and Ramakongoana to speed away and come home for his second victory in two starts of the Cape Town Marathon, crossing the line in 2:10.01.
Second went to Ethiopia’s Gebru Redagne (2:10.17) with Lesotho’s Tebello Ramakongoana rounding out the top three (2:10.24).
“It was important to me to win at home again,”
said Stephen Mokoka.

“I knew it was always going to be a tactical race as there were no pacemakers, so I stayed in the bunch and only started to show some aggression after halfway. When I broke away just before 40km and the guys couldn’t respond, I knew I had won.”
For Mokoka the win was just reward after a hard year in which he had to withdraw around 35km into the Olympic Marathon, clutching his stomach in agony.
The Cape Town Marathon was also a big “victory” for Eastern Province’s Melikhaya Frans who knocked more than two minutes off his previous best of 2:13.50 to finish sixth in 2:11.28 – a World Championship qualifying time for 2022.

Cape Town Marathon results
Top 10 Men
1. Stephen Mokoka (South Africa; Boxer) – 02:10.01
2. Gebru Redahgne (Ethiopia) – 02:10.17
3. Tebello Ramakongoana (Lesotho) – 02:10.24
4. Ameta Belachew (Ethiopia; Volare) – 02:10.40
5. Alex Saekwo (Kenya; Greyhound Pro Sports Management) – 02:10.59
6. Melikhaya Frans (South Africa; Ikhamva AC) – 02:11.28
7. Isaac Mpofu (Zimbabwe; Nedbank) – 02:11.41
8. Sboniso Sikhakhane (South Africa; Phantane AC) – 02:11.49
9. Wubshet Jote (Ethiopia; Newton Sports Agency) – 02:12.30
10. Ngondizashe Ncube (Zimbabwe; Nedbank) – 02:12.49