The Moses Molelekwa Arts Center in Tembisa will be abuzz on Sunday, 29 October, when South Africa’s finest middle/long distance runners and walkers gather for the annual Tembisa Street Mile. With big names like Jerry Motsua, Rantso Mokopane and Rynardt Van Rensburg entered in the 1 mile, we are in for a running party!

How he does, we do not know, but one thing is for sure, Donald Mathipa never seizes to amaze when it comes to getting the crème de la crème of the country’s top runners at his race, and this year is no different. On Sunday, Olympians Jacob Rozani and Rynardt Van Rensburg, World Student Games medalists Rantso Mokopane and Jerry Motsau (Mile record holder) and the South African 1500m silver medalist Nkosinathi Sibiya are set to battle it out for the men’s mile crown. Lining up with a 3:56.62 mile personal best (that he ran in 2014), Motsau is the fastest athlete on paper and possibly also the firm favorite to win the race, but after the men’s 1500m final at #FillUpPotch, we haven’t seen much of him locally, so it will be interesting to see in what shape he is. But does he, at this moment, encompass the Big Match Temperament (BMT) to outwit the Olympians? Is he anywhere near his personal best shape? I hope he is, because Rozani will look to fly the flag of Royal Bafokeng high. Known for his kick in the final stages of the 800m race, the African championships silver medalist is a threat to his competitors should he still be part of the lead pack. And like Rozani, the African championships bronze medalist Van Rensburg also likes to wait for the perfect moment before they strike. The Free State based champion has developed into one of South Africa’s finest 800m prospects, but don’t count him out for the mile, he is busy with off-season training, so the he should be running longer distances at the moment. Needless to say, the Kovsies athlete will be in the mix, and he is a force to reckon with. But throw in Rantso Mokopane, Nkosinathi Sibiya, Folavio Sehohle, Jeromy Andreas and Thabang Matiwane, and then we have a whole different race. Unlike anyone of the abovementioned athletes, Matiwane likes running fast from the start, and that is how he won the USSA 1500m race in Limpopo last year. And if he is confident before the race, he might just be the athlete to take the title, but surely Andreas and Sehohle are too hungry to allow anyone to steal their much needed victory! Looking to come back to winning ways, Andreas and Sehohle would have gone the extra mile to win the mile, so don’t write them off just yet. Mokopane and Sibiya, on the other hand, head to Tembisa full of confidence after enjoying successful domestic seasons. Though from different backgrounds, the pair shot to stardom in similar fashion and they are now two of the most feared men wherever they line up.



Written by Reggie Hufkie