Thabang Mosiako ready to use homeground advantage in Run Your City Gqeberha

Thabang Mosiako, middle, will be hoping to make the best of homeground advantage when he takes part in this weekend’s Absa Run Your City Gqeberha

Thabang Mosiako, middle, will be hoping to make the best of homeground advantage when he takes part in this weekend’s Absa Run Your City Gqeberha. Mosiako is seen with elite runners Elroy Gelant, left, and Precious Mashele, far right. Photo: Richard Pearce

Published Apr 5, 2024


The temperature was sweltering hot inside the City Hall here Friday brunch time, but Thabang Mosiako was coolness personified as he addressed the pre-race press conference ahead of Sunday’s Absa Run Your City 10K.

Now a resident of the Friendly City, the athlete from Potchefstroom hardly looked pressured when the local MMC for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture Services Nassie Kamana declared that he would stop national 10km record holder Precious Mashele from reigning victorious in the absence of top East African talent.

Third last year behind Mashele who ran a 27:35 to dispose Stephen Mokoka as the fastest South African over ten kilometres while finishing second after Kenya’s Daniel Ebenyo, Mosiako is expected to take advantage of the home conditions to reign supreme.

Confident as he is of doing well, the Nedbank Club athlete knows only too well not to take anything for granted.

“I don’t like to put pressure on myself by making predictions. I am well prepared for the race and the best man will win,” he said after the conference “I’ve had a good start to the year and I ran a PB of 13:38 in the 5000m and two weeks ago I ran a half marathon in Lisbon (Portugal) and finished in sixth place. So I am confident.”

After a fantastic 2023 in which he won his maiden national title – the South African Half Marathon Championships right here in Gqeberha – and was the best performer at the World Half Marathon Championships where Team South Africa brought home the bronze medal, Mosiako suddenly finds himself catapulted into the limelight. As such, he is sure to have a target on his back on Sunday.

“For me, I don’t worry about what the other athletes are doing. I stay in my lane. Of course the pressure is there, but you have to be self focused and believe in yourself. Don’t go off the road, stay in your lane.”

Mosiako continues to dream of one day being as revered an athlete as his role model Stephen Mokoka.

“I am currently very happy doing the 10s and 21s on the road and I don’t plan to go up to the marathon now. I will do that only when I am really ready. So, all I want to do is to improve my times in these distances and my dream is to be like Stephen Mokoka and run for a long time. I don’t want to just come and shine for a while and then disappear. I want my career to be a long lasting one.”

And he believes he has made the right choice by trading Potchefstroom for Gqeberha where he is under the guidance of the revered Mike Mbambani of Ikhamva – the country’s Coach of the Year who – according to Athletics South Africa (ASA) president James Moloi – will be leading the country’s road running team at the Olympics in Paris in August.

“I am very happy here. Of course, it is hard that I left my family back home in Potch but they understand that I am a soldier; that I’ve had to come and work to help make a living for them. And they are very supportive of me. So when I get on the road for a race, it is not just for me but for them too. It is great working with Coach Mike and the crew because I am really seeing improvement in my running.”

That much even a blind man can see, Mosiako’s phenomenal runs last year the sign of a man not only enjoying his career but reaping the benefits of great training too.

The Gqeberha crowd will be rooting for him to win on Sunday morning and he is sure to use their cheering to propel him to breast the tape ahead of everyone in the field.

Given how cool he was in the morning heat inside the City Hall, there’s every reason to foresee him withstanding the heat that comes from people’s high expectations.


IOL Sport

Related Topics:

GqeberhaRoad Running