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South Africa’s Mokoka completes a hat-trick of wins at Shanghai marathon

Program Code: 0909346161030014 Source: Shanghai Daily

SOUTH African runner won the Shanghai International Marathon for the third time today.

The marathon featured 38,000 runners.

The 31-year-old Stephen Mokoka won the men’s full marathon in 2013 and 2014 as well. Completing his hat-trick of wins this year, the South African crossed the finish line at Shanghai Stadium with a time of 2 hours 10 minutes and 18 seconds. The women’s event was won by Ethiopian Roza Dereje Bekele, who clocked 2 hours, 26 minutes and 18 seconds – two seconds ahead of runner-up Margaret Agai from Kenya.

“It’s my third victory here, though the time was not fast enough,” said Mokoka. “The weather was great at the beginning, but the latter part of the race became difficult with the rise of the temperature… I hope to be called to compete here again next year.”

The 31-year-old was among the 30 world-class runners who were invited by the organizers to take part in the Shanghai event.

With the autumn morning temperature ranging between 13 and 17 degrees Celsius, the cloudy morning was the perfect weather condition for the 38,000 participants, who took off from the Bund at 7am. Former Olympic champion hurdler Liu Xiang fired the starting shot.

20,000 runners participated in the 42.2-kilometer full race, while 8,000 took part in the 21km half marathon. The 10k and 5k races each featured 5,000 runners.

For the first time the finish line for the full and half marathons was at the Shanghai Stadium. Friends and family members of the runners were invited to watch the races from the stands.

22 ambulances and over 700 medical staff and volunteers were positioned along the routes to assure the participants’ safety. A male runner, whose name was not given, lost consciousness and fell down on the track when crossing the finish line. He was attended by medical staff for cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and rushed to hospital. Organizers said he was in stable condition by noon.


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