from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
Western Cape Bureau
CAPE TOWN, (CAJ News) – DEFENDING champion, Stephen Mokoka, and South African national marathon champion, Jenet Mbhele, will be the man and woman to beat at next month’s Sanlam Cape Town Marathon.
The event returns to the Mother City on October 16, with the wheelchair division making its debut and the marathon entering its first evaluation year as an Abbott World Marathon Majors candidate.
Mokoka is the favourite with an impressive running CV.
In addition to him being reigning South African 10km and Half Marathon record holder, he broke the 50km world record earlier this year.
He won the Cape Town Marathon in 2018, with a new event record of 2:08.31, and the 2021 edition.
Ethiopian Gebru Redahgne, who finished in second place in 2021, is eager to topple Mokoka.
South African Sibusiso Nzima is poised to bounce big after a period plagued by injury.
In the women’s field, Mbhele is keen for a win in her debut.
She will face stiff competition from Stella Marais, who is in top form after winning the Peninsula Marathon earlier this year.
Ethiopian Mereset Dinke will also pose a challenge after setting her marathon personal in 2:25.12 at the Valencia Marathon in Spain in December 2021 and winning the Geneva Marathon in May this year.
This year is the ninth for non-banking financial services company, Sanlam, as the headline sponsor of the Cape Town Marathon.
“The journey and growth of the event have had over the past years has been nothing short of phenomenal,” said Sydney Mbhele, Sanlam’s Chief Executive for Brand.
Entries for the marathon close on September 12.
– CAJ News