LONDON — 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.