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Athletics | Running

Stephen Mokoka © Gallo Images

Career best for Mokoka in Manchester



Stephen Mokoka finished fourth in the Great Manchester Run 10km road race in England on Sunday, crossing the line just 12 seconds behind veteran Ethiopian star Haile Gebrselassie.

Mokoka recorded a new personal best time of 28 minutes, 12 seconds (28:12), narrowly missing the 33-year-old national record of 28:00 set by Matthews Motshwarateu in October 1980.

Facing a world-class field, the 28-year-old South African did well to hold off nine-time European cross country champion Sergiy Lebid of the Ukraine, who finished fifth in 28:28.

Mokoka, who won the Great South Run 10-mile (16.09km) race in Portsmouth in October, set his previous 10km career record of 28:21 in Stellenbosch in August 2009.

Meanwhile, Moses Kipsiro of Uganda, the Commonwealth 5 000m and 10 000m champion, won the race in 27:52, and Kenyan Wilson Kipsang, the second fastest marathon runner in history, was second in a sprint finish in 27:53. Gebrselassie, a five-time winner of the race, took third place in 28:00.

Earlier in the day, five-time Olympic medallist Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia won the women's race in a course record 30:49.

The Manchester leg of the annual Bupa Great Run series is one of the most prestigious 10km events on the global calendar.

Previous winners of the men's race include former world marathon record holder Paul Tergat of Kenya and five-time world half-marathon champion Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea.



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