De­fend­ing cham­pion Mosi­ako set to take on course record holder

Inner City Gazette - - News - By Staff Re­porter news@in­ner-city-gazette.co.za

De­fend­ing cham­pion, Tha­bang Mosi­ako will take on the course record holder, Na­makoe Nkhasi in the 2018 ver­sion of the FNB Joburg 10K CITYRUN on Mon­day, 24 Septem­ber (Na­tional Her­itage Day).

Nkhasi blew away the favourites in the in­au­gu­ral race in 2016, show­ing the likes of Stephen Mokoka, El­roy Ge­lant and Sibu­siso Nz­ima a clean pair of heals, scorch­ing to a win­ning time of 29:48 on a course that takes no pris­on­ers. A year later the un­fan­cied Tha­bang Mosi­ako went with Stephen Mokoka af­ter 5km and then with 2km to go on the long down­hill to the fin­ish at Mary Fitzger­ald Square, put on the af­ter burn­ers and dropped the fan­cied Mokoka to win by al­most 30 sec­onds (29:51 to 30:15) and nar­rowly miss­ing the course record held by Nkhasi.

Mosi­ako and Nkhasi are back in 2018 to of­fer a duel that could be of the most in­tense bat­tles seen in South African road run­ning. Both ath­letes have a propen­sity for tough cour­ses, and the FNB Joburg 10K CITYRUN is tough. Nei­ther ath­lete fears tak­ing the race to their more fan­cied coun­ter­parts, and both are look­ing to end 2018 with a bang.

“I like the tough cour­ses, the hills, I am strong on them. So the FNB Joburg 10K CITYRUN is a course that suits me,” says Mosi­ako. “I am rac­ing the SA Cross Coun­try Cham­pi­onships in PE on 8 Septem­ber in the 10km to try and se­cure my place at the World Cross Coun­try Cham­pi­onships in Aarhus, Den­mark, so I have been train­ing hard for the na­tional cham­pi­onships. That train­ing will suit me well for Joburg, as cross coun­try train­ing is tough and you need to do a lot of strength based train­ing, which will come in good stead to de­fend my ti­tle.”

Mosi­ako threw out a cau­tion­ary note though. “The guys are all run­ning well, Pre­cious (Mashele) is in form, Joel (Mmone) has had some good re­sults, so has David (Manja). I train with El­roy (Ge­lant) and he has re­cov­ered well from his her­nia op­er­a­tion. So it will be tough. And Na­makoe is a fighter, that’s why he holds the course record.”

The 23-year-old Mosi­ako is show­ing no ill ef­fects from the hor­rific at­tack on him in Fe­bru­ary this year that saw him hos­pi­tal­ized and came close to costing him his rac­ing ca­reer. Re­cently he fin­ished fourth in the Nel­son Man­dela Day Marathon 10km in 30:53. “I wanted a top ten, so the fourth place fin­ish was re­ally good for me and show’s I am com­ing back into the form I had when I won the SA 5000m ti­tle last year and the SA Cross Coun­try Tri­als in Jan­uary this year. I am con­fi­dent, but wary. The guys are all in form.”

Nkhasi was be­ing a bit cagey on his chances. The Le­sotho ath­lete was 8th in the half marathon at the Nel­son Man­dela Day Marathon, clock­ing 64:02 on a course that sees a steady climb 15km to the fin­ish.

Tha­bang Mosi­ako will take on Na­makoe Nkhasi at the 3rd an­nual FNB Joburg 10K CITYRUN on Mon­day, 24 Septem­ber (Na­tional Her­itage Day)

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