Mokoka back on the track

STEPHEN Mokoka, South Africa's most promising athlete, is going back to track events for training purposes to improve his speed.

STEPHEN Mokoka, South Africa's most promising athlete, is going back to track events for training purposes to improve his speed.

The 25-year-old will feature in the first leg of the 2010 Yellow Pages series at the Nelson Mandela University of Technology in Port Elizabeth on February 19.

A sports administration student at the Tshwane University of Technology, the 2007 World Student Games bronze medallist will take part in the 5000m event in Port Elizabeth.

"I have decided to go back to the track to perfect my speed so that I can clock good times in all events I compete in this year," Mokoka said.

"There must always be an improvement in everything you do when you grow up. It's not that I'm chasing records but all I need is to win my events in excellent times.

"I had a great season in 2009, which also included winning the national half-marathon championships and finishing eighth at the World Cross-Country Championships."

Mokoka, who is coached by 800m queen Caster Semenya's mentor, Michael Seme, will also use the series to prepare for the World Cross-Country Championships in Poland.

"I'm in the SA team for the World Cross-Country Championships. The plan is to improve on last year's eighth position," he said. Highly regarded by top runner Hendrick Ramaala, Mokoka used to work with Seme when he was still coaching at the Vaal University of Technology in Sedibeng.

When Seme left the institution last year to work for the University of Pretoria as coach, Mokoka followed him. "Mokoka is such a wonderful athlete, disciplined and committed to his work. He excels in road running, track and cross-country," Seme said.

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