South African marathoner Stephen Mokoka on Sunday broke the men’s world record in a 50km race by winning the Nedbank Runified 50km in Gqeberha, South Africa.
Mokoka, running in his very first 50km race, finished in a time of 2:40:13 (subject to ratification) eclipsing the previous record set by Ethiopia’s Ketema Negasa of 2:42:07 set at the same event in May last year.
Negasa’s record was then ratified as the inaugural men’s world 50km record at the beginning of 2021.
Tete Dijana came in second, clocking 2:44:08, while another South African Edward Mothibi came in third in 2:45:27.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s Amelework Fikadu ran a dominant women’s race to win in 3:04:58 just falling 34 seconds short of the record by South Africa’s Irvette van Zyl last year.
Kenya’s Shelmith Muriuki was second in 3:08:30, while Van Zyl was third in 3:13:23.
In France, Uganda’s world 5000m and 10,000m record-holder Joshua Cheptegei won the men’s Le Semi de Cannes 10km race in 26:49, a world leading time.
Though this was Cheptegei’s first race of the season, the 25-year-old impressively managed to record the sixth-fastest ever 10km, something he hoped bodes well for the year ahead.
“I thank God almighty for the grace to run strong again after a long time. I am optimistic that this year God will do something great,” Cheptegei said.
Eritrea’s Habtom Samuel and Uganda’s Boniface Abel Sikowo came in second and third, respectively, in times of 27:51 and 27:58.
In Rome, Kenyan duo Sabastian Sawe and Irine Jepchumba Kimais won the men’s and women’s RomaOstia events.
Sawe won his race in 58:02 breaking the Italian all-comers’ record and setting the eighth-fastest half marathon in history.
Gemechu Dida of Ethiopia clocked a personal best of 59:21 to finish in second place and Sawe’s compatriot Leonard Langat was third in 59:22.
Kimais finished in a time of 1:06:03 setting a personal best and the fastest ever time on Italian soil as Ethiopians Madina Mehamed and Shure Demise were second and third in times of 1:07:09 and 1:08:17, respectively.