Mokoka sets his sights on cross-country

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

BANGKOK - After winning a bronze medal here last week, runner Stephen Mokoka has set his sights on the South African Cross- Country Championships in Mpumalanga next month.

The 22-year-old talented Mokoka, who is doing policing management at the Vaal University of Technology in Vanderbijilpark, will take part in the 12km senior men's race.

He is still in high spirits after finishing third at the 24th World Student Games in the 10 000m final.

Mokoka said he wanted to improve on last year's eighth position in the cross-country championships. The race was won by Freestater Boy Soke.

"Now that the World Student Games are over, I will be starting with the preparations for the national cross-country championships when I get back home," said Mokoka.

"The plan is to do well in Mpumalanga in order to be selected to represent South Africa at the African Athletics Confederation Southern Africa Cross-Country Championships early next year.

"For me the main aim is to go to the World Cross-Country Championships. The best athletes that I know in the world started by doing cross-country. That is why I'm also sticking to it as part of my training."

Glen Bentley, South African Student Sports Union president, was full of praise for Mokoka after finishing on the podium on his first attempt at the World Student Games.

"I was the chef de mission of Team South Africa in Algeria last year when Mokoka finished fourth at the World Student Cross-Country Championships. He felt too bad after missing a medal by a whisker.

"We are all celebrating with him," said Bentley.