Cape Town - Stephen Mokoka produced a historic performance on Sunday, charging through the 60-minute barrier at the Buenos Aires Half-Marathon in Argentina.
Mokoka took fourth position in 59:51*, becoming the first South African to crack the hour mark over the 21.1km distance.
Though he finished off the pace of Kenyan athlete Bedan Karoki, who won the race in 59:07, Mokoka took 16 seconds off the SA mark of 1:00:07 set by Hendrick Ramaala in Kosice in 1997.
Another South African runner, Glenrose Xaba, delivered a spectacular performance of her own in only her second attempt at the half-marathon distance.
Xaba ended fifth in the women's race in 1:09:44, climbing to third place in the all-time SA rankings behind Elana Meyer (1:06:44) and Colleen de Reuck (1:08:38).
"A wonderful performance by two consistent and very hungry athletes," said Aleck Skhosana, the President of Athletics South Africa.
"We congratulate them both, but we take special note of the national record set by Mokoka.
"In that regard we thank the efforts of the athlete and the work of the coach and support staff, and urge them to remain focused to reach new heights."