Stephen Mokoka in the marathon at the World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 (© AFP / Getty Images)
Athletics South Africa has selected a full team for the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020, which will take place on 29 March.
The team is led by national record-holder Stephen Mokoka, who clocked 59:51 in Buenos Aires last year before going on the finish fifth in the marathon at the World Championships in Doha. The 35-year-old will be making his seventh appearance at the World Half Marathon Championships, a tally bettered by just two other men in the history of the event. His best placing to date is eighth, a finish he achieved in both 2009 and 2012.
He will be joined by Precious Mashele, who has a best of 1:00:28, marathon specialist Desmond Mokgobu, Joel Mmone and Mbuleli Mathanga.
The five-member women’s team is spearheaded by Glenrose Xaba, who will make her World Athletics Half Marathon Championships debut after clocking 1:09:46 last year in her second ever race at the distance.
She will line up alongside ultra-distance runner Gerda Steyn as well as Jenet Mbhele and twin sisters Lebo Phalula and Lebogang Phalula-Luthuli.
Collen Mulaudzi will provide cover for the men's team as a non-travelling reserve, while Makhosi Mhlongo has been confirmed as a non-travelling reserve in the women's squad.
“We have now selected our best possible team,” said ASA president Aleck Skhosana. “It is a team that carries a lot of hopes on their individual shoulders.”
ASA for World Athletics
South African team for Gdynia
Men: Precious Mashele, Mbuleli Mathanga, Joel Mmone, Pheeha Mokgobu, Stephen Mokoka, Collen Mulaudzi (reserve).
Women: Jenet Mbhele, Lebo Phalula, Lebogang Phalula-Luthuli, Gerda Steyn, Glenrose Xaba, Makhosi Mhlongo (reserve).