Defending champion Mosiako set to take on course record holder
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)