Stephen Mokoka buried the ghost of his previous Bupa Great South Run visit with a dramatic victory in the men’s race.
The South African took the 2012 title in a sprint finish over Spain’s Ayad Lamdassem.
The late entry clocked 46min 40sec to finish in front of Lamdassem (46.44) and Olympic medallist Tariku Bekele (46.45).
That made it a reversal of when Mokoka lost out to double Olympic hero Mo Farah by just a few metres at the death in 2009.
Mokoka toyed with his rivals throughout, opening up a lead before slowing and telling his opponents to speed up.
Lamdassem made his move with 400m remaining but Mokoka went with his opponent and showed a superior turn of pace to leave him behind.
Mokoka said: ’I’m very happy with my performance.
‘After the last time I was here Mo beat me by just a few metres.
‘So I was pleased to have won this time.
‘The guy from Spain made a move and I don’t know where I got the strength from.
‘I produced the sprint, though, and that was what won me the title. It was an exciting finish again – but this time I had more.
‘It was very hectic over the last 400m but I was delighted to be first over the finish line.’
Mokoka is looking towards marathon action in China in December.
But he was delighted to take part in the showpiece Portsmouth event – and is keen to return.
‘I’m running the Shanghai Marathon in December and my preparations are going very well,’ he said.
‘I’m very happy to have received the invite to Portsmouth, though.
‘It’s nice. There are people all the way around cheering you on.
‘They give you strength and courage to run faster and harder.
‘If I was invited back I would be happy to return again.’