Cape Town - Stephen Mokoka will compete in the first World
Marathon Majors race of his career next month in Tokyo, with the South African athlete
being revealed in the elite men's line-up on Friday for the annual contest to
be held on February 26.
The field, spearheaded by former world record
holder Wilson Kipsang of Kenya, includes 10 men who have run faster than
Mokoka's 42km career best of 2:07:40, which he clocked at the Shanghai Marathon
A former track specialist, Mokoka set the SA 10km
road record of 27:38 in Manchester in 2015 and the national 15km mark of 42:44
in Cardiff last year.
He has also run under 2:11:00 every season since making
his 42km debut in 2010.
This will be his maiden appearance, however, in one
of the six races that form part of the prestigious World Marathon Majors
Though he is up against a quality line-up, should
he cause an upset, Mokoka will become only the second athlete to win the Tokyo
Marathon after national record holder Gert Thys in 1999, and the first to do so
since the event was relaunched to form part of the Majors series.
The women's field will be led by former
Commonwealth Games 10 000m champion Lucy Kabuu of Kenya, the only lady in the
line-up to have dipped under 2:20:00.