South African long-distance runner Stephen Mokoka says that SA athletes need to sacrifice in order to get medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in July.

The 35-year-old has represented SA at the 2012 London Olympics in England and the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil.

Josia Thugwane shocked the world when he won gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics in America.

Mokoka was close to winning a medal at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar in 2019, when he finished fifth in the 42.2-kilometer race.

He has been granted a wild card entry by the IAAF for the Olympics, by the virtue of finishing in the top ten. But Mokoka will not take anything for granted.

Mokoka won gold at the 2016 African Championships in Durban. He has also won a gold and silver medal at the 2013 World University Games in Kazan, Russia.

To add to his medal tally, he won a silver medal at the varsity games in Shenzhen, China, and a bronze medal at the 2007 Bangkok varsity games in Thailand. He says his times are improving leading to the Olympics.

Athletics South Africa and South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) signed a deal last week that will see the public broadcaster televising major marathons live such as the Comrades, Two Oceans and Soweto.

Mokoka is excited about that. – Report by Vincent Sitsula