Nkoka eyes bumper year

 

Mikia Kalati

Crack long-distance runner, Lebenya Nkoka, is hoping to build on his 2014 success, in which he won South Africa’s Two Oceans Marathon and the High Altitude Summer Marathon in Mokhotlong.

The two races saw Nkoka raking-in M350 000 and the 31-year-old says he is looking forward to an equally fruitful 2015.

Nkoka is currently training in rugged Thaba-Tseka as he prepares to defend his Two Oceans title on 4 April, and also a hectic year.

“I will be defending my Two Oceans Marathon title in Cape Town and I’m already preparing for that race,” Nkoka said.

“I have decided to come to the mountains here in Thaba-Tseka as I feel it is the right place for me to prepare in solitude; without unnecessary distraction.”

Nkoka admitted 2014 was a memorable year for him, and is praying for a repeat of the form which saw him win M250 000 in the Two Oceans and M100 000 in the High Altitude Summer Marathon.

“It was a good year for me personally, but it was all due to hard work, dedication and a lot of sacrifice,” Nkoka said.

“You have to toil to be at your best and this is exactly what I did last year, and luckily for me, it paid off.

“It would be great if I could be in such top form again this year and I know what it takes to be there and hopefully, things will work out well again for me.”

The veteran athlete, who is one of Lesotho’s most celebrated long-distance runners, added at 31 years of age, he remains as competitive and hungry for success, as ever.

“I am still in good shape to compete at the highest level for a few more years. I want to win more races before I could call  it a day,” said Nkoka, whose major accomplishments also include winning South Africa’s Soweto Marathon in 2010.

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