Distance runner Stephen Mokoka broke the 22-year-old national half-marathon record on Sunday, becoming the first South African to dip under 60 minutes on a standard course.
Mokoka finished fourth at the Buenos Aires Half-Marathon in Argentina, crossing the line in 59:51 and slicing 16 seconds off the previous SA mark which had been set by former New York Marathon winner Hendrick Ramaala in Kosice in October 1997.
While Ramaala had run 59:20 in March 2000 and 59:42 two years later, both times were achieved on an aided course in Lisbon and could not be considered for record purposes.
Meanwhile, Glenrose Xaba ran the race of her life in the Argentine capital, taking fifth place in the women’s contest in 1:09:44.
In only her second attempt at the 21.1km distance, Xaba became the third SA woman (after Elana Meyer and Colleen de Reuck) to dip under 70 minutes.
Though she was three minutes outside Meyer’s national record, Xaba clocked the fastest time by a South African woman in 18 years.