Tjoka wins second High-Altitude title
LESOTHO’S queen of Marathon Mamoroallo Tjoka was too hot to handle for her female opponents yesterday in Mokhotlong as she easily cruised to victory at the High-Altitude Summer Marathon making it her second in a row.
She however, slower for her own time of 3:17:17 set last year as she recorded 3:18:59.
Nthabeleng Letsela came second while Refiloe Khechane came third.
In the males Teboho Nosi (31) pulled a surprise clocking 2:30:23 to topple last year’s champion Lebenya Nkoka.
Winners walked away M120 000 richer while the first runners-up pocketed M80 000 while the second runners-up got M40 000 in both categories.
Nkoka settled for third place behind Teboho Sello who beat him in the last three kilometers to beg the second prize.
Veteran runner Mabutile Lebopo came fourth.
Nosi who came out fourth in last month’s Soweto Marathon in South Africa made his intentions very clear from the onset.
starting point Sefate.
However, the defending champion Nkoka did not easily give it away and chased him until he caught up after 13 kilometers.
The duo paced together for most of the race but Nkoka showed his superiority towards the 26 kilometre mark.
The veteran runner stayed in front until the last 5 kilometers of the race where Nosi upped his pace and overtook Nkoka.
His gamble worked as he steadily drifted further ahead from the seemingly fatigued Nkoka.
When Nkoka appeared to slacken his pace, Sello, who had been trailing closely capitalised and overtook him into second to finish off the race.
Tjoka told the Sunday Express after the race that she was happy to win the race once again.
“I don’t think the race was any different from last year and the competition was tight,” Tjoka said.
“I could have leadd the pack from the start but I wanted to stay with them at least until the last few kilometers just to motivate them. I am back and runners must brace themselves for competition.’
On his part, Nosi said he was happy to finally win the race after many years.
“I am happy that finally I have won this race after so many attempts. My target was actually the Soweto Marathon this year but I finished fourth so I decided to come here and see how it would work out.
“I wasn’t confident so I decided to stay in front from the word go and see if the rest could catch up and fortunately the gamble worked for me and I am happy,” Nosi said.
Nkoka on the other hand said although he lost the race, he is happy that his teammate won.
“I feel that somehow I am a winner because my teammate won. We decided to stay together because we were not sure of what was going to happen so the target was that the race be won by one of us.
“The race wasn’t in my plans this year and I decided late to come here after we discussed it with my teammates and coach. The target was for us to come here and push each other and we managed that it so congratulations to Nosi who gave out his best,” Nkoka said.
21 kilometre winners