Olympians LJ van Zyl and then Stephen Mokoka made sure that Manchester had a distinctly South African flavour to it this weekend, writes Mark Etheridge.
On Saturday Van Zyl equalled the world 200-metre hurdles record with a time of 22.10sec at the Great CIty Games track and field meeting. Britain’s Andy Turner is the joint record-holder now with Van Zyl.
The following day it was Mokoka’s turn to set a South African record over the 10km distance on the road.
Racing the Great Manchester run, Mokoka ended second in a time of 27min 38sec.
That was eight seconds behind Kenya’s Stephen Sambu and 10sec ahead of 40-year-old American veteran Bernard Lagat. Lagat’s time is the world’s fastest for a master.
The leading bunch of men went through the halfway mark in just under 14min and while Sambu was content to sit on Mokoka’s tail at that stage, he burst clear at 7km and went on to victory.
Mokoka’s time eclipses that of Matthews ‘Loop en Val’ Motshwarateu who ran 28:00 in Purchase, New York back in 1980.
Source : South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee