No Olympic regrets for Mokoka
Stephen Mokoka (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Despite falling away in the second half of the Olympic Marathon on Sunday morning in London, Stephen Mokoka said he had no regrets about his tactics.
Mokoka was with the chasing pack for the first part of the race, but was unable to maintain the pace, ending 49th in a time 2:19:52sec. Compatriot Lusapho April passed him in the last two kilometres
April finished in 43rd place with a time of 2:19:00, well behind Ugandan winner Stephen Kiprotich who crossed the line in 2:08:01.
"If I could race again I'd do it the same way," Mokoka said.
"We went through halfway on 63 minutes, which was 2:06 pace. I had trained for 2:06 so I was comfortable and had more in the tank."
Mokoka thought twists in the course slowed the leaders down as they could not keep their rhythm.
"It was hard at 29km when the pace increased; at 35km the guys came past but they were going faster, I couldn't stick with them," continued the multiple 10km, cross country and SA track champion.
"It shows I have the speed, but need to do more endurance to stay with them."
April said a fall during his race put an end to him challenging for a top finish.
"I fell at a table, I think I was lying 12th. The coach didn't expect me to have a drink there and when I bent down to pick it up I fell. After that my race was finished."
The Eastern Cape athlete had wanted to improve his previous best by two to three minutes.
"[Before the fall], I thought that I could make a top 10 or run a PB [personal best]."
April said his schedule after the global showpiece included a long rest.
"I'm going to sit down relax, recover and take it from there. My next race will probably be in December."